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By the same Author 
SPAIN AND THE VATICAN 
LATIN AMERICA AND THE VATICAN 
THE VATICAN AND THE U.S.A. 

THE VATICAN IN ASIA 
RELIGION IN RUSSIA 
CATHOLIC TERROR OVER EUROPE 

THE RELIGIOUS MASSACRE OF YUGOSLAVIA 

THE CATHOLIC CHURCH AGAINST THE TWENTIETH CENTURY 


The Catholic Church Against the Twentieth Century 

has been published in the following countries: 

First published in Great Britain by C. A. Watts & Co. Ltd., London. 

First Czech ed. pub. by Nakladatelstvi Zivot a Prace, Prague, 1950. 

Second Czech ed. pub. by Nakladatelstvi Zivot a Prace, Prague, 1951. 
Bulgarian ed. pub. by Naroden Petchat, Sofia, 1949. 

Polish ed. pub. by Czytelnik, Warsaw, 1950. 

First Hungarian ed. pub. by Szikra Konyvkiado, Budapest, 1950. 

Second Hungarian ed. pub. by Szikra Konyvkiado, Budapest, 1950. 

Romanian ed. pub. by Romanian State Publishers, Bucharest, 1951. 

Slovak ed. pub. by Tatran, Bratislava, 1951. 

First Russian ed. pub. by State Publishing House, Moscow, 1949. 

Second Russian ed, pub. by State Publishing House, Moscow, 1949. 

Third Russian ed. pub. by State Publishing House, Moscow, 1950. 

First American ed. pub. by Gaer Assoc. Inc., New York, Sept., 1949. 

Second American ed. pub. by Gaer Assoc. Inc., New York, Oct., 1949. 

Third American ed. pub. by Gaer Assoc. Inc., New York, Nov., 1949. 

Fourth American ed. pub. by Gaer Assoc. Inc., New York, Jan., 1950. 

Fifth American ed. pub. by Horizon Press Inc., New York, July, 1950. 

Sixth American ed. pub. by Horizon Press Inc., New York, Nov., 1950. 

First British ed. pub. by C. A. Watts & Co. Ltd., London, 1947. 

Second British ed. pub. by C. A. Watts & Co. Ltd., London, 1950. 

Hebrew ed. pub. by Hakibutz Hameuchad Pub. House Ltd., Tel-Aviv, Israel. 

The Catholic Church Against the Twentieth Century has also been partially 
published, summarized, or amply quoted from and commented upon in 
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Holland, New Zealand, 
Norway, and South Africa. 

Selected Book of the Month (L.B.C.), New Yoffe, Feb., 1950. 

Selected Book of the Month (P.B.C.), New York, Sept,, 1950. 

Cheap ed. (470 pages), at 5s., pub. by C. A. Watts & Co. Ltd., London. 
Cheap ed. in cloth, at 10s., pub. by C. A. Watts & Co. Ltd., London. 

American edition published as The Vatican in World Politics, $3.75, Horizon 
Press, New York. 



AVRO MANHATTAN 


CATHOLIC 

IMPERIALISM 

AND 

WORLD FREEDOM 


WATTS & CO. 

JOHNSON’S COURT, FLEET STREET, LONDON, E.C.4 



First Published October, 1952 

—"W— 

This book is copyright under the Berne Conven¬ 
tion. Apart from any use specifically permitted 
under the Copyright Act, 1911, no portion may 
be reproduced without written permission. 
Inquiry should be made of the Publishers. 


Printed and bound in Great Britain by Richard Clay and Co. Ltd., 
Bungay, Suffol\, after composition by Hazell, Watson O* Finey, 
Ltd., Aylesbury, Bucks, and published by C. A. Watts and Co. Ltd., 
5 and 6 Johnson's Court, Fleet Street, London, E.C.4 



DEDICATED TO 

Contemporary Man, 
terrorized, 
enslaved, 
deceived; 

the exploited—but also the 
predestined annihilator 
of all tyrannies, ancient and new; 
the architect 

of the genuinely peaceful mankind 
of the united World of the Future 


KANSAS m (MO.) PUBLIC IIBRART 

6732303 




FOREWORD 


T he contents of this work may prove controversial. 
Controversy implies disagreement. This is often 
nurtured by doubts about the veracity of the source of 
information. 

No documentation has intentionally been incorporated in 
these pages without its source being given. Most of it is drawn, 
on matters specifically connected with Catholicism, from 
Catholic Canon Laws, Papal encyclicals, and Vatican decrees; 
on specifically American problems, from documents of the U.S. 
Administration, which can be found among official American 
papers (e.g. in the Libraries of Congress, Washington). The 
principal sources for current affairs have been documents 
issued by various governments, or by international organiza¬ 
tions such as U.N.O., as well as what are generally admitted 
to be most soberly authoritative organs—for example, the 
Osservatore Romano, the London Times, the New Yor\ 
Times, and a few others, religious or political mouthpieces of 
either national hierarchies, political parties, or various other 
official or semi-official bodies. 

The vastness of the survey has inevitably focused a great 
deal of this work upon the global activities of the Vatican and 
of the U.S.A. on the one side, and of Soviet Russia and World 
Communism on the other. As it is meant to examine the 
world activities of the Catholic Church and of the U.S.A., and 
not those of their opponents, to have enlarged also upon those 
of the latter would have required another volume. Whenever 
the U.S.A. or Soviet Russia are mentioned, they are mentioned 
only in so far as their or Vatican policies have affected the 
contemporary global scene, whose implications consequently 
cannot be ignored. 

Abundant notes and references are made throughout 
each chapter, and can be found at the end of the book. 




PREFACE 


S PARKLING AMID A BILLION-STARRED UNIVERSE, WANDERING 

in cosmic insignificance, there glides the Earth—the cradle 
and the tomb of Man. 

Species blossomed upon her and vanished; generations came 
and went; religions preached and conquered; empires rose and 
fell. But Freedom, sought for millennia, is still a dream to 
this day. 

Tyrannies, rooted in the past, are lording over a present 
shaken by the thunderous march of giants racing for the 
mastery of the world, where ideologies, championed by nations 
burning with hatred, have palisaded the continents for global 
atomic massacres; and Churches, hailing falling culture, are 
spurring the combatants to mutual annihilation. 

One of these, the Catholic Church, consumed by Cimmerian 
dreams of formidable expansion, is biding her time to enforce 
her dominion upon the human race. Not only as a spiritual, 
but also as a political power, buttressed by the unshakable 
conviction that it is her destiny to conquer the planet. 

In a century rocked by the ruthless administration of 
dictatorships of immense magnitude, riding delirious military 
monsters, such a credence may be laughed to scorn. 

Yet a credence, if firmly believed, can become as real as 
reality. When magnified by multitudes, it is rendered irre¬ 
sistible. Beliefs have conquered conquerors, routed legions, 
made armies invincible, sired civilizations, dethroned nations. 
They have been, and are still, the curse or the blessing, the 
brake or the spur, to' progress. In the past Buddhism con¬ 
quered Asia; Islam the East; Christianity the West. Today, 
astounding new credos have already obscured the sun. 
150,000,000 Americans, 200,000,000 Russians, have become 
their paladins; colossal armaments their swords. The Catholic 
is supported by 400,000,000 beings; a monolithic unit, exceed¬ 
ing the U.S.A. and the Soviet Union in numbers, unity, leader¬ 
ship, and faith. 



X 


PREFACE 


Americans, Russians, and Catholics are all mobilized for 
war. Freedom is their clarion call. And yet, just because of 
it, freedom has never been so threatened as it is today. In its 
name they are enslaving the world. Whoever hesitates to 
submit to their kind of freedom is branded a foe of freedom. 
And hence to be destroyed; freedom having become the 
alternative to either global slavery or atomic incineration. 

To the Catholic Church freedom has always meant Catholic 
freedom: namely, total Catholic dominion over the world. 
Catholic dominion, spelling total implementation of the most 
fundamental tenet of Catholicism, means only one thing: total 
extinction of whatever is non-Catholic. 

The attempt of the Catholic Church to erase freedom 
wherever she is paramount is almost two thousand years old. 
Unprecedented machinations have characterized her conduct 
in the last few decades. Yesterday Fascism, one of her pet 
creatures, hurled mankind into World War II. Today its 
successors are hurling mankind into World War III. Like 

them, the Catholic Church has set up her standard, to enforce 
upon the twentieth century her own brand of freedom. 

To that end, she has promoted immense hate crusades, 
inspired great ideological movements, supporting and oppos¬ 
ing sundry contestants for world dominion so as ultimately to 
further her own, in tire wake of military devastations. 

The physical symbol of one of the most malevolent 
forces of modern times, however, will no longer enjoy 
unmerited immunity. 

In World War III the Vatican will be incinerated, on a par 
with the cities of Europe, Russia, and America. Its ruins, 

then, more than famed ruins, will symbolize mankind’s deter¬ 
mination to make short work of all totalitarianisms. Prominent 
among these: certain most iniquitous ecclesiastical tyrannies 
which, in the name of religion, contributed so much to the 
destruction of contemporary Man. And, verily, the punish¬ 
ment meted to the Catholic Church will be singularly heavy, 
not only in Rome, but throughout the charred wasteland of an 
atomized world. 

Ignorance of the true nature of such a treacherous enemy of 
man, consequently, is no longer permissible. The scope of 
this work is to throw light upon the leading role she is playing 



PREFACE 


XI 


in the global conspiracy now in progress, directed at strangling 
world liberty. 

The sands of time have already run perilously low; for truly 
the portents in the skies speak of calamities beyond counting. 
The lesson to be learnt, therefore, had better be learnt in dead 
earnest, lest the light of freedom be totally extinguished, and 
mankind be made to plunge once more into the darkness and 
the terror of the past instead of into the peace and the glory 
of the future. 

London. A. M. 




CONTENTS 


CHAPTER 1 PAGE 

THE IDEOLOGICAL COLLAPSE OF THE WEST AND WORLD 
REVOLUTION 1 

The spiritual stagnation of contemporary society, and the failure 
of Christianity. 


chapter 2 

WORLD FREEDOM AND CATHOLIC POWER 10 

World Catholicism, World Communism, and a Catholic world. 


chapter 3 

OMNIPOTENCE OF THE POPES AND THEIR CLAIMS TO 
UNIVERSAL DOMINION 20 

The Popes, History, and the West. 

Papal spiritual and political might. 

Papal disposal of Ireland and of the Americas. 


chapter 4 

PAPAL PROMOTION OF CONTEMPORARY RELIGIOUS SUPER¬ 
STITION FOR POLITICAL PURPOSES 37 

The Archangel Gabriel and television. 

Papal astronomical cataclysms. 

The "jumping sun”; the Virgin Mary; the American State 
DepartrxTent and Pius XII. 

The world as a single Empire-Church. 


chapter S 

CATHOLIC POWER AND MODERN SOCIETY 59 

^ The Catholic Church, marriage, and divorce. 

Catholicism and education. 

Church political directives to Catholics. , 

xiii 



XIV 


CONTENTS 


CHAPTER 6 PAGE 

DUAL NATURE OF CATHOLICS 85 

The impossibility of Catholics being loyal citizens. 

Catholic antagonism to modern science. 

Catholic dictatorship in modern medicine. 

The Catholic death sentence against expectant mothers. 

chapter 7 

SUBJECTS OF THE CHURCH, FIRST-CITIZENS OF THE 
STATE, SECOND 108 

The astonishing case of Ireland. 

The inglorious surrender of Lord Strickland. 

Catholic laws, Catholic judges and Catholic justice. 

The Catholic Church—a supra-national power. 

chapter 8 

AUTHORITY, DEMOCRACY, AND THE POPES 134 

Catholic denial that the people have any power. 

Papal maledictions against Magna Carta and the French and 
American revolutions. 

Catholicism opposes the abolition of slavery; curses “ progress ” 
and “ modern culture.” 

chapter 9 

CATHOLIC OPPOSITION TO FREEDOM OF CONSCIENCE, OF 
SPEECH, AND OF THE PRESS 149 

“ Mental reservation,” or typical Catholic dishonesty. 

Good Catholics, bad Catholics, ignorant Catholics, democracy and 
freedom. 

chapter 10 

THE HIDDEN MIGHT OF CATHOLIC DIPLOMACY 170 

Vatican diplomats and their secret power. 

Catholic parties. 

Political Catholicism in England and the U.S.A. 
chapter 11 

CATHOLIC POWER OVER WORLD ORGANIZATIONS 188 

Catholic international organizations. 

Catholic influence and the Council of Europe. 

Catholic pressure upon the United Nations. 

The “ invisible member ” of the U.N.O. assemblies. 

Vatican-American domination of U.N.O. 

True status of Vatican diplomatic envoys. 



CONTENTS 


XV 


CHAPTER 12 PAGE 

NATURE AND EXERTIONS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY 208 

The case of the British envoy to the Vatican and the Royal 
visits to the Pope. 

Vatican diplomacy and international espionage. 

Vatican diplomatic blackmail of the U.S.A. and Soviet Russia. 


CHAPTER 13 

DEADLINESS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY IN PEACE 235 

The cases of the Saar, of Alsace-Lorraine, of the Rhineland, and 
of a French Government. 

Vatican diplomacy and the rise of Mussolini. 

Vatican diplomacy and the rise of Hitler. 


chapter 14 

DEADLINESS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY IN WAR 254 

Japan, the Philippines, the U.S.A., and the Vatican. 

Timor, Portugal, and the Nazi U-boats and the Pope. 

The fall of Mussolini; Cardinal Spellman, and the Allies. 

The Vatican’s fateful secret, the invasion of Soviet Russia, and 
the plot to kill Hitler. 


CHAPTER 15 

VATICAN’S TOTAL WAR AGAINST HOSTILE STATES 273 

Catholic promotion of political murder. 

Ireland’s independence, Great Britain, and Vatican diplomacy. 

Vatican’s promotion of the Mexican Civil War. 

Vatican’s engineering of the Spanish Civil War. 


CHAPTER 16 

THE VATICAN AGAINST THE ORTHODOX CHURCH 298 

The longest diplomatic war in history. 

The Vatican, Communism, and the Orthodox Church. 

A “ Catholic Russia,” Nazism, Islam, the U.S.A., and the Vatican. 


CHAPTER 17 

THE VATICAN AGAINST PROTESTANTISM 316 

Catholic anti-Protestant odium, and Catholic “ tolerance.” 

The pattern of Catholic persecutions against Protestantism, in 
Europe, Asia, and the Americas. 



XVI 


CONTENTS 


CHAPTER 18 PAGE 

CATHOLIC IMPERIALISM AGAINST THE ASIATIC CONTINENT 340 
Catholic Imperialism, the West, and Asia. 

The Popes, the Great Khans, and various Catholic attempts to 
subjugate Mongolia, Manchuria, Siam, and the Chinese 
Empire. 

Vatican promotion of civil war in Japan. 

Nipponic reaction to Catholic Imperialism: 250 years of total 
sealing off of the Japanese Islands. 


chapter 19 

THE PATTERN OF VATICAN MACHINATIONS AGAINST 
EUROPE BETWEEN THE SECOND AND THIRD WORLD WARS 366 

Three kings, the Vatican, and the people. 

Mortal sins, American dollars, general elections, and Russian 
invasions. 

Catholic Poland, “the country fit for gentlemen and bishops to 
rule,” and her missions after the First and Second World 
Wars. 

Pilsudski’s Danzig-Odessa Polish Empire. 

“ European liberation,” as envisaged by the Vatican and the 
invisible government of the U.S.A. 

Its significance. 


CHAPTER 20 

THE SPECTACULAR CASE OF CARDINAL MINDSZENTY, OR 
THE VATICAN’S GREAT ATTEMPT TO PUT BACK THE CLOCK 397 

Political machinations, religious persecutions, and the truth. 

The Austro-Hungarian Empire. Its political significance in 
Catholic and European politics. 

Seipel, Hitler, the Vatican and the U.S.A.’s schemes for Imperial 
resurrections. 

“ Emperor ” Otto, Cardinal Spellman, Prince Primates, Pius XII, 
the U.S. State Department, and Hungary. 

Cardinal Mindszenty, Budapest, Rome, and Washington. 

Cardinal Mindszenty, Empress Zita, Canadian and American 
Convents, reluctant American diplomats, and cassocked 
plotters. 

Mindszenty’s scheme to overthrow the Hungarian Government 
and restore the Hungarian monarchy, and the third World 
War. 

Poland, Central European Catholic Confederation, Rumanian 
Archbishops, and Vatican-American diplomacy. 

Dukes, Counts, Barons, the Pope, Luce, and “civilization.” 



CONTENTS 


XVII 


CHAPTER 21 PAGE 

THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME: GLOBAL CATHOLIC 
TERROR AND THE FUTURE 430 

Catholic Imperialism, Freedom, and the West. 

Historical-political background of the ideal Catholic society of 
“ the future.” 

Yugoslavia, the Vatican, and Catholic terrorism. 

Catholic concentration camps, Catholic forcible conversions, and 
Catholic massacres. 

Half a million murdered. Archbishop Stepinac’s and Pope Pius 
XIFs responsibility. 

Total Catholic terror. World Freedom and the future. 


CHAPTER 22 


CONCLUSION 

473 

NOTES 

486 

BIBLIOGRAPHY 

504 


INDEX 


506 




1 

THE IDEOLOGICAL COLLAPSE OF THE 
WEST AND WORLD REVOLUTION 

W E LIVE IN TIMES WITHOUT EQUAL 

in human history, in days of a 
vertiginous progress and the 
unparalleled confusion of a century heading at breakneck speed 
towards the great cavernous emptiness of a most tenebrous 
future. 

The whole earth, this poor planet of ours on which the blood 
does not seem to get a chance to dry, has become the arena of 
sanguinary spectacles and the tomb of captive aspirations and 
of scattered dreams. 

Across broken cities and the ruins of nations and continents, 
heavy with the unknown pitfalls and the unmeasured dangers 
of an age gone awry, however, there can be heard the 
steady, relentless rhythm of something irresistible about to be 
born. 

It is the throbbing of a new civilization, of the first global 
civilization in the history of man. This, indeed, is a portent 
worthy of a cry. 

And yet the mood of contemporary man is dark, self¬ 
questioning, gloomy, and despairing. Wars and tyrannies of 
a new order have shaken his confidence and dispersed his 
illusions. The twentieth century, earmarked to be the 


I 



2 


THE IDEOLOGICAL COLLAPSE OF THE 


apotheosis of his ascent, has turned into the nightmarish 
aberration of a dark, hallucinatory underworld. 

His conquest of space by flight and radio, his mastery of the 
atom, and all his spectacular technical advances have let loose, 
not the millennium, but the great deluge. Incommensurable 
new problems have opened the gates to devastating political 
tornadoes, promoted gigantic social upheavals, engineered 
formidable economic revolutions. 

Man’s scientific achievements have not only transformed his 
external existence, they have changed his relation to matter, 
stultified his ideas of the universe, questioned the veracity of 
moral values, belaboured his innermost pet beliefs, casting 
startling doubts upon his own uniqueness, the purpose of all, 
and upon life itself. 

The world of tradition, of dogma, and of certainty is 
perilously tottering and near to collapse. It is tumbling. 

Modern science has filled his life with a sombre incertitude 
and his future with disaster. And progress, having turned 
calamitous, has wrapped the earth in a tempestuous semi¬ 
darkness. Is it the twilight of a world about to die, or the 
dawn of a world about to be born ? 

Hence man’s dilemma: the dilemma of a century in 
transition. 


But, standing against the wasteland of the present, there are 
giants; giants scheming the conquest of the world—the global 
offspring of forces generated by two conflicting civilizations, 
feeding, the one on tradition, the other on revolution. 

Their enmity, however, seemingly caused by economic 
discordance, in reality is the hostility of two divergent 
philosophies, eager to stamp the age with their own mark. 
Philosophies are not mere abstractions: they are true, concrete, 
pressing, and hard realities. They are the sires of ideologies, 
the souls of nations, the begetters of doctrines, and thus the 
foundation stones of all political structures. As economic 
systems generate political problems, so moral doctrines, by 
reverberating in social issues, will affect also political move¬ 
ments and consequently economic systems. The philosophies 
from which they have sprung, or those which they have 



WEST AND WORLD REVOLUTION 3 

moulded, therefore, will direct the mode of life of individuals 
and, indeed, of whole cultures. 

The rise of the great contemporary inimical ideologies 
is thus the concrete manifestation not only of material but 
also of immensely profound moral problems. More, it is 
the incarnation of two irresistible antagonistic ways of life, 
determined to conquer the globe. The more formidable of 
these seems to be championing the absolute supremacy of the 
community as opposed to that of the individual. Hence its 
demands for the levelling of classes, the redressing of racial 
injustices, the economic equality of all men—that is to say, for a 
world revolution. Its goal could prove a mirage. But, as the 
inspirer of all the disinherited of the earth, it is universal. 

Its counterpart claims to stand for the freedom of the 
individual as opposed to that of the community, and therefore 
for the survival of the fittest, the exploitation of man by man, 
of society by its members. By its very nature it favours only a 
successful minority. Consequently it is narrow, limited, and 
inadequate. 

Since the incursion of the former, its ideological opponent 
has been wholly unable to produce anything more inspiring 
than the mode of life of a traditional society which is being 
steadily rejected by an ever-growing portion of mankind. 

Past civilizations, when reduced to such sterility, perished. 

The lack of an ideology has forced it to seek tne equivalent 
of one. And its find is religion, an ally as powerful as the 
one it is supposed to fight; the standard-bearer of a philosophy 
as potentially universal as that preaching world revolution. 

That religion, concerned chiefly with spiritual problems, 
should be employed as the main instrument to check a 
materialistic ideology concerned mostly with economic issues 
seems, at first, paradoxical. But a materialistic philosophy, by 
transcending purely economic problems, can develop a kind of 
mysticism. It can provoke feelings akin to religion. Indeed, 
it can become a religion. More, it can turn into a revolutionary 
creed preaching an entirely new conception of the purpose 
of existence—that is to say, of the relationship of man with 
what he believes life and the universe are about. 

The fundamental issue between the hostile ideologies now 
splitting the world is basically religious. Is human life to be 



THE IDEOLOGICAL COLLAPSE OF THE 


4 

lived by the full man, in a full manner, here; or is his ultimate 
destiny to be found in a future world? Is this earth nothing 
more than a place of transition to another kind of existence 
elsewhere; or is it a home in which the complete man can find 
his complete self? 

Until recently mankind had accepted the age-old experience 
that life meant a grim struggle, to be fought resignedly because 
God or fate had so decreed. Now, however, it has decidedly 
revolted against such acceptance. And a new world philosophy 
has appeared, affirming that man has to live fully here on 
earth. Science has accelerated this rebellion. Hence the 
strides of principles rejecting the degradation of man under 
impersonal forces, and their identification of religion with a 
society permitting the tacit exploitation of men by men, of 
classes by classes, and of races by races. 

A demand for freedom, far more potent than any that the 
past has had to offer, is thus being put forward. And the 
challenge is found in the question whether society in its 
present form has the moral power to give a satisfactory answer 
to such a claim. 

This is not simply a question of the disposal of economic 
forces. It is something which, by going deeper, becomes a 
question of religion, which only religion can answer. 

In a world rocked to its foundations by colossal concrete 
problems, such a conclusion seems absurd, yet is not so. 

For religion, although in a swift decline, is not dead. It is 
not even disappearing, as many are inclined to believe. It is 
simply sinking deeper into the innermost chambers of 
emotional man. It is still there, alive, potent, and dynamic. 
It can as yet move individuals, nations, and civilizations. 
When it jets to the surface, it can assume strange shapes and 
weird disguises. It can be boldly monopolized by a Church, 
or be made to die a slow, sordid death by the empty-staring 
masses brooding on the rumbling escalators of the metropolis. 
It can still be accepted with a tacit individual and mass inner 
scepticism, if not actual unbreathed sneers, by a conventionally 
agnostic society, scorned by the inward despair of generations 
reared in the ruins of world wars, or it can infuse with a 
Messianic spirit the most materialistic ideology yet produced 
by our civilization. Whatever shape it is made to assume, 



WEST AND WORLD REVOLUTION 5 

whatever role it is made to play, it is still the most formidable 
deus ex machina of mankind. 

Our age, perhaps the least religious age that ever was, has 
seen the most astounding demonstration of this: a revolu¬ 
tionary ideology which, by preaching a materialistic creed, has 
sublimated its own materialism with all the inner belief of a 
living religion, thus proving that religious feeling, if adroitly 
directed, is a force which nothing can stop; indeed, that when 
properly harnessed with grievances of a concrete and urgent 
character, it is irresistible. 

The global revolution now in progress, therefore, although 
promoted mainly by economic forces, is not moved solely by a 
materialistic belief. It is a philosophy promoting economic 
revolution. It is a creed with the inner fire of a religion, the 
driving power of a social rebellion, and the dynamism of ideas 
bursting asunder the foundations of society. 

By imbuing itself with mysticism, it has transformed its most 
opaque facet with the redeeming translucency of a faith 
outside which there is no salvation, the secret of its astonishing 
expansion. 

It has done more. By partaking of the nature of a belief, 
its appeal has become universal. The essence of religion is 
universality. It is above all geographical, political, racial, intel¬ 
lectual barriers. The subdivisions of mankind cannot impede 
it from reaching all strata of society, from appealing to all 
intellects, from stirring all kinds of emotions, from giving 
scope to the strongest and most elusive aspirations of men. 

The most revolutionary ideology of our times has girdled 
the globe with the blazing flames of an unquenchable fire. 

Mere economic injustices would never have been able to do 
that. 

The universality of religion, however, is not that of 
individual religions. When religion is patterned into systems 
its universality is lessened by the framework within which it 
has been bound. It is further reduced when it is changed into 
an organized belief and restricted still more when transformed 
into a Church. 

This imperils not only its vitality, but also its appeal. For 
by being divided within itself, it splits into sundry.creeds at 
variance with one another. Its universality is even more 



THE IDEOLOGICAL COLLAPSE OF THE 


6 

reduced when, having become an intrinsic part of the society 
within which it has grown, it identifies itself with a particular 
race or civilization. When that occurs a faith suffers additional 
loss, for, by becoming indissolubly bound to specific economic 
or political systems, it is soon crippled and paralysed. 

Loss of freedom spells immobility. Immobility, retrogres¬ 
sion. Retrogression, reaction. Reaction, hostility to innovation 
and thus to progress. Once it has been reduced to this, 
organized religion turns into the staunchest advocate of the 
past, grows suspicious of the future, and is the bitterest enemy 
of all forces claiming redress. 

The great world faiths have all followed such an evolution. 
Originally inspired by principles of universality, after a rapid 
expansion they identified themselves with a particular culture, 
turned stagnant, and became the stubborn protectors of 
immutability. 

The main revolutionary philosophy of our times has not yet 
reached that stage. It is still burning with principles of univer¬ 
sality. Hence its spectacular expansion, carried out with 
the rapidity of Islam, the steadiness of Buddhism, and the 
dynamism of Christianity in their early stages. 

But, in addition to these fundamental prerequisites, this 
philosophy is rendered even more dynamic by something which 
all faiths have constantly lacked, disregarded, or even purposely 
ignored: its assertion that its principles can be made into a 
concrete, practical reality for all, here and now. 

By preaching this, it strikes at the very foundations of 
religion. For, whereas traditional religion aims at the welfare 
of man in a problematical future life, regardless of his present, 
our revolutionary philosophy aims at his physical welfare, 
regardless of any problematical future existence. 

To do this, it has integrated material and spiritual motives 
into a monolithic system, directed at the rational amelioration 
of mankind. 

Unlike at the time of the rise of the great religions, now the 
world is truly one and is becoming increasingly so. The 
abolition of distance has telescoped men, ideas, and cultures 
into a variegated but integral, inseparable whole, where a 
materialistic conception of life has become the hall-mark of 
a century of catastrophes. 



WEST AND WORLD REVOLUTION 7 

Men, like civilization—and civilization, like nature—abhor 
a vacuum. Whenever emptied, they need to be filled again 
with something, for neither can stand erect for long on hollow 
foundations. In the past, wherever a void was created, wherever 
a culture was near disintegration, there a great religion rushed 
in, either to fill the gap or to build upon the ruins of the fallen. 

At present all great contemporary civilizations are on the 
verge of collapse. Hence the universal void, the sire of a new, 
revolutionary conception of life and of man’s place in society. 
This, having produced radical economic and social doctrines, 
has finally been sublimated into a kind of lay religion. And 
the new religion is Communism. 

But whereas, owing to their geographical remoteness, the 
great spiritual movements of the past remained regional, now 
the new philosophy, owing to its inner essence and to the 
shrinking of the globe, has become universal. And, as once 
the great religions were the foundations upon which their 
respective civilizations were constructed, so now this new 
revolutionary philosophy, unless checked by a more inspiring 
one, seems destined to become the foundation stone upon 
which a new global civilization will ultimately be erected. In 
millennia gone by, cultures were built upon the spiritual values 
of religions, which begot political and economic systems. 
Ours, on the contrary, is being erected upon the religious 
indifference of applied science, the mercenary principles of 
powerful economic and political systems, and the a-religious 
tenets of a world civilization in the making. 

A multiplicity of causes, such as the stratification of the 
great world beliefs, with the stagnation of their original 
principles, the continual emphasis on the importance of a 
problematic future life, their stubborn defence of the traditional 
structure of society, and their inability to attune themselves to 
the rapid changes caused by applied science, are responsible for 
this. 

To these can, perhaps, be added the growing indifference of 
religions and the cynicism of the masses towards the Churches, 
the tolerators of immense injustices, the supporters of wars 
and of nations preaching war, the sponsors of colossal hate 
campaigns, in stark contradiction to the fundamental origin, 
essence, and simplicity of true religion. 



8 


THE IDEOLOGICAL COLLAPSE OF THE 


These and sundry other factors have split the planet into two 
colossal ideological battlefields: that of organized religions, 
backed by, and backing, forces advocating the retention of the 
old order of things; and that of a revolutionary philosophy 
advocating the physical welfare of man and the setting up of 
an equalitarian society with no barriers of class, colour, or race. 

Notwithstanding their alliance with the Churches, the forces 
of tradition are everywhere in retreat. Organized religion, 
therefore, although powerful, is bound to fail as the substitute 
for an ideology which a traditional society is unable to produce, 
even for its own survival. Such a conflict, being more than a 
struggle of ideas or of two hostile economic systems, has 
become the sire of two global ideologies, one appealing to the 
teeming masses of the earth, the other to the fast-diminishing 
minority of those who possess. 

Organized religion, therefore, by identifying itself with a 
crumbling civilization, is courting its doom. Concern with 
the welfare of only a small portion of mankind is a rejection 
of universalism. And rejection of universalism, when the 
world is marching towards unity, means only one thing: 
extinction. 

The disruption of organized religion, even if it is destined 
to a swiftly accelerating decline and total eclipse, would not, 
however, mean the end of religion as such. For its original 
teachings, by upholding the ideal of true human brotherhood, 
of the true equality of man before man in the spiritual as 
well as in the economic field, could still become the most 
formidable opponents of a rapacious conception of society. 
More, by voluntarily accepting the liquidation of the enormous 
injustices which organized religion has stubbornly supported, 
it could demonstrate that the concept of history as the 
by-product of mere economic forces, while partly justified, is 
erroneous and harmful. 

It could go further: by proving that, were any oncoming 
civilization to deny intangible values, it would court disaster. 

A society top-heavy with mammon is bound to perish. 
The pitiful remains of past mighty empires are mute witnesses 
that the great dominions of Babylon and Nineveh, of ancient 
Egypt, of Rome and of the Caliphs, when laden with this 
scourge, toppled over and plunged to their doom. 



WEST AND WORLD REVOLUTION 9 

True religion could prevent ours from following their fate. 
Its most ennobling principles, however, are not enough. The 
world is a hard world. Mankind stands before concrete situa¬ 
tions; and these situations have to be solved by practical means. 
The great bulk of the masses are bewildered, tempted, and 
stunned by the tangible allure of physical betterment. Man, 
although spirit, is also body. To care solely for his spiritual 
needs and to disregard his material ones will lead the Churches 
to final extinction. World revolution is striding the globe 
with the steps of a giant, because of the ever-more-irresistible 
demand for universal justice. 

The checking, reduction, or suppression of such a demand 
through hate or war is a mirage whose reality is disaster. The 
fecundity of hate breeding hate is enough to dethrone the 
reason of individuals and continents. It will never arrest the 
forward march of ideas. For ideas thrive in the minds of men. 
The smashing of an ideological enemy by violence will result 
in the material defeat being turned into inevitable moral 
victory, and the vanquished, rendered indestructible by the 
universality of its principles, ultimately will multiply its 
conquests. 

Yet organized religion, although menaced by imminent ruin, 
continues to ignore the harsh realities of a world in transition, 
wholly unperturbed by the lamentations of the multitudes, 
vainly crying to a deaf God for the practical redress of 
immense misery that has already lasted for millennia. 

Indeed, as if eager to accelerate still further its rapid decline, 
it chooses to ride with the least enlightened forces of a society 
which the masses of the world are increasingly rejecting: and 
more—to become the paladin of combatants preparing to make 
their mode of life prevail, not by the creation of more 
ennobling ideals, but by the use of force, the launching of 
global wars upon a mankind stunned by unheard-of disasters, 
the curse of the present and the fear of a future heavy with 
the terrors of a civilization tumbling like a falling star towards 
self-annihilation by the chilly glare of the atom. 



2 

WORLD FREEDOM AND CATHOLIC 
POWER 


T he inability of organized 
religion to supply its allies with an 
ideology, however, does not signify 
that it is not their most potent supporter. Deprived of it, it 
is doubtful whether traditional society could nave withstood 
the challenge of the times without perishing. 

For religion is still the mightiest foe of revolution. The 
scope of the revolution now in progress is universal. As 
organized religion is to be found everywhere, it follows that 
it is fighting on a global front and that its alliance with anti¬ 
revolutionary forces is world-wide. The struggle being fiercer 
in some places than in others, the dominating religion reacts 
at its fiercest where the revolutionary blows are most devastat¬ 
ing. And the region where the fighting is most intense is 
certainly the West. 

Here the partnership of tradition and religion is found at 
its closest. For here we have the most dynamic conservative 
powers of the twentieth century: a militantly organized belief 
—Christianity—and the most successful accumulator of wealth 
—Capitalism; the two most potent anti-revolutionary forces in 
the world. 

A religion, when striking root within a civilization, will 


10 



WORLD FREEDOM AND CATHOLIC POWER 


II 


partake of the main nature of the races forming it. Since its 
transplantation from the Near East, Christianity has become 
Western. And that means that, although its initial momentum 
of expansion has long since diminished, it has still retained 
sufficient vitality to outdistance all other beliefs in its 
ambitions, vigour, and combativity. 

Of all the great faiths, Christianity is the only one still 
engaged on the launching of vast organizations operating 
across nations—indeed, continents—inspiring great missionary 
movements, mobilizing crusades to check, fight, and destroy its 
enemies. 

This in itself would be sufficient to make of it the most 
powerful belief in the globe and the most potent foe of 
Communism. But when it is made the very foundation upon 
which the lay partner has built its threatened economic system, 
then Christianity is infused with additional incommensurable 
strength. For then it is no longer made to stand upon its merits 
alone. It is sustained by the might of the most industrialized 
provinces of the world. That is to say, it is backed by the 
political prestige of nations based upon Christian principles, by 
the economic power of systems built upon Christian doctrines, 
protected by the military might of Christian armies operating 
the most devastating weapons yet invented by man. 

This could not be otherwise, Christianity having become 
more than the provider of an ideology for the West—an 
intrinsic part of the Western world. Without its support, 
traditional Western civilization would have crumbled long 
ago; while, inversely, organized Christianity, without the 
support of the West, would never have survived in its present 
shape to our day. 

But if such an alliance gives Christianity strength, it is also 
the cause of its weakness. For Christianity is being increas¬ 
ingly rejected by a growing number of individuals. It is 
scorned by whole strata of Western society, as an ideology and 
as a religion—and this mainly because of its stubborn support 
of its conservative associates. It is significant that powerful 
revolutionary movements exist in all the Western nations, 
and that a large number of Westerners, though believers, 
repudiate it as an advocate of a civilization permitting the 
enormous injustices by which they are afflicted. Such alliance 



12 


WORLD FREEDOM AND CATHOLIC POWER 


has weakened Christianity also beyond the West, where it is 
spurned by the greater part of the human race as being hope¬ 
lessly identified with the rapacity of the Western world, of 
Western imperialism, and of Western white supremacy. 

Notwithstanding such cracks in its armour, however, 
Christianity is still, as a whole, a mighty force capable of 
profoundly influencing contemporary affairs. 

But where it is rendered even more formidable is where 
the genuine universality contained in its original seedling has 
been made to grow into a monster oak-tree, under the shadows 
of which there has been hatched the most sinister incarnation 
of despotism ever known, and which, in the name of a belief, 
has made innumerable attempts to conquer mankind: the 
Catholic Church. 

The Catholic Church is neither genuine religion nor true 
Christianity. It is the repository of a formidable homogeneous 
will, self-sufficient, impersonal, ruthless, and omnipotent; the 
sum of a hoary ecclesiasticism contaminated by the most 
unscrupulous tyranny in the world; the creature of a vindictive 
theology and of a most vitiated orthodoxy, rooted in a vanished 
military dominion whose dreams she has transmuted into one 
of imperial global dimensions. 

Although originally derived from the same doctrines from 
which sprang the Orthodox Church and Protestantism, her 
intransigence, aggressiveness, and unbounded ambitions are of 
such a nature as to render her not only the most dangerous 
standard-bearer of a grossly distorted Christianity, but also the 
most powerful religious organization on earth, supported by 
an army 400,000,000 strong. The exertions of such an insti¬ 
tution, with all the prestige of antiquity, the experience-of 
two millennia, an internal organization perfected in all its 
details by forty generations and brought under a process of 
unheard-of centralization, have contributed more than any¬ 
thing living to shape the destiny of many nations and hence 
that of the Western world. 

Unlike other faiths, she has never restricted her activities to 
the regions where she was predominant. Limitations of any 
kind have constantly been ignored. The very right of 
existence of other religions has always been wholly disregarded 
—indeed, trampled underfoot or by-passed. 



WORLD FREEDOM AND CATHOLIC POWER 


*3 

The stemming away of two such large portions of what she 
considered to be part of herself as the Orthodox Church and 
Protestantism, although perforce rendering her almost regional, 
by limiting her territory chiefly to Southern and Central 
Europe, left her as universally ambitious in spirit, practice, 
policy, and claims as ever. 

Her intractability, however, was not limited merely to 
geographical domains. It was enforced in the religious and 
social realms, where she became strikingly and malevolently 
nefarious. For her presupposed uniqueness, while making her 
impervious to territorial or administrative changes, made her 
allergic also to any modifications which in her eyes might 
weaken, diminish, or destroy the wholeness of the doctrines 
upon which she rested. 

Such doctrines, she claimed, were her sole monopoly. They 
sprang from direct divine commission. They were immutable. 
Thus she, being based upon them, partook of their immuta¬ 
bility, as did her whole religious, moral, ethical, and social 
structure. Modifications of any kind, consequently, became 
anathema, whether within or outside herself. 

This made her rigid, inflexible, and unchangeable, a 
subjugator and an enemy of society, a disapprover of reforms 
not inspired by her, irreformable, incorrigible, and irrepressible, 
where submission was regarded as primary, and intellectual 
torpor a paramount virtue. The result was an increasing 
loss of adaptability, and hence a growing estrangement from 
an ever-evolving civilization. 

All living organisms, to evolve, must change, move, and 
grow. The two main branches of Christendom followed this 
natural process. They freely adapted themselves to their 
environment, evolving parallel with the lay society within 
which they developed. 

The Orthodox Church never estranged herself for long from 
the evolution of the society around her. After a millennium 
with the Byzantine Empire, she struck roots in her former 
missionary territories, the lands of the Slavonic races, becoming 
an integral moulder of their civilization. After several more 
centuries, having identified herself with the Czars, she shared 
their fate and collapsed with them. Although the Bolshevik 
revolution reduced her almost to nil, it took her only a few 



WORLD FREEDOM AND CATHOLIC POWER 


r 4 

decades to adapt herself to the new order of things. This 
meant that, besides complying with the demands of a radically 
changed environment, she continued to play no mean role in 
the Slavonic world, of which she remained the paramount 
inspiration, even after almost the whole of it had erected its 
political systems upon Communism. 

Protestantism, likewise, having developed mainly in 
Northern Europe, was soon associated with the Northern 
peoples, and gave continual support to the social, economic, 
political, and cultural framework of a Protestant civilization. 
Protestant emphasis upon freedom of conscience and individual 
liberty, amplified by its sundry divergent denominations, 
endowed it with an exceptional theological elasticity. This 
meant an almost automatic tolerance towards new doctrines, 
new principles, and new ideas. The result was its adaptation 
to a rapidly evolving society, with the minimum of resistance. 
Wherever Protestantism flourished, there civil liberties appeared, 
laying their foundations of those basic principles upon which 
modern society, and thus our contemporary world, is erected. 

The Catholic Church never followed this course. Notwith¬ 
standing all the religious and political disasters that befell her 
and the innumerable occasions on which she stultified herself 
before the world, instead of evolving flexible formulas, she 
redoubled her intransigence with ever more determined 
purpose and concentrated energy, to make the gulf between 
her and an evolving society wholly impassable—this to such 
an extent that at long last she became practically irreconcilable 
with the thought, practice, and theory of the contemporary 
world. 

The consequence was the relentless war she has since waged 
against Liberalism, Secularism, Democracy, and any govern¬ 
ment or State practising them. Wherever she could do so, their 
doctrines were anathematized, hence the suppression of civil 
liberty, freedom of conscience, and even economic enterprise. 
The result was that, whereas countries moulded on Protestant¬ 
ism flourished, those dominated by Catholicism plunged 
headlong into an abysmal decay. 

The gap between an immovable Catholic Church and an 
ever more rapidly changing society continued to widen, until 
it was rendered almost unbridgeable with the appearance of 



WORLD FREEDOM AND CATHOLIC POWER 15 

Socialism and incommensurable with the birth of its extreme 
offspring, Communism. 

Thus, whereas the Orthodox Church could reach a modus 
vivendi with Communism, and whereas Protestantism is 
inclined to recognize the justice of some of its claims, the 
Catholic Church has uncompromisingly rejected it as a 
philosophy, an economic system, and a political movement. 

The Catholic Church and Communism, therefore, find 
themselves at the two most extreme poles of the ideological 
warfare of the modern world: the Catholic Church as the 
most conservative, irreformable world institution in existence, 
Communism as the most revolutionary, dynamic ideology as 
yet produced by man. By the very fundamental law of the 
transmutability of religious principles into moral, social, 
economic, and political ones and, in reverse, of economic 
doctrines into political, social, ethical, moral, and therefore 
religious tenets, their hostility finds expression in the economic, 
social, and political fields—indeed, often even in the open 
employment of brute force and war. 

The most formidable, stubborn, and dangerous opponent to 
Communism, therefore, is the Catholic Church, while the best 
organized and most powerful opponent of the Catholic Church 
is Communism. Being the living incarnations of these most 
extreme conceptions of life in existence on our planet, they 
have become the embodiment of two irreconcilable worlds: 
one wanting to mould society with a philosophy conceived by 
a culture long since dead, the other born and growing in the 
present, attempting to remould the globe with principles 
seemingly Utopian but potentially realizable in a civilization 
as yet to come. 

Thus, while the fountain-head of Catholic dynamism springs 
from the deepest recesses of a world buried in the past, that of 
Communism draws inspiration from a world still in the womb 
of the future, each burning with the irresistible will to shape 
a bewildered mankind in its own way. 


If the Catholic Church were simply a peculiar brand of 
Christianity mainly confined to wherever Catholicism is pre¬ 
dominant, she would be an enemy powerful enough to be 
B 



WORLD FREEDOM AND CATHOLIC POWER 


16 

counted as one of the most dangerous by any ideology sponsor¬ 
ing revolution. But the Catholic Church is nothing of the 
kind. She is as unlike Protestantism and the Orthodox Church 
as these are unlike non-Christian religions. Although funda¬ 
mentally partaking of the eschatological philosophy of all 
faiths, she is as unlike Islam and Buddhism as Communism 
is unlike traditional religion. 

The Catholic Church is a Church uncompromisingly her 
own. Not only does she not consider herself on a par with, but 
she believes herself above all Christian denominations—indeed, 
above the religions of the entire world: the only true Church, 
the only true religion, divinely instituted, divinely commis¬ 
sioned, divinely inspired, divinely protected, the unique 
repository of truth. Truth being one, those outside her are in 
error. All other religions, therefore, are false. Truth being 
to falsehood what right is to wrong, justice to injustice, light 
to darkness, it follows that truth must prevail over error, as 
right must prevail over wrong and justice over injustice. The 
Catholic Church, being the only true Church, must, therefore, 
prevail over error—i.e. over all other Churches. As the only 
repository of truth, she has the right to fight wrong—i.e. 
anyone not upholding the truth. As she is the only upholder 
of truth, and as, therefore, all non-Catholic denominations and 
religions are wrong, it is her right to see that they accept the 
truth—that is, the Catholic Church. 

But truth, like right, is by its very nature universal. Hence 
the task of the Catholic Church is to see that Catholicism is 
universally accepted—namely, that it is embraced by all 
individuals, all institutions, and all nations. Her exertions, 
therefore, are restricted neither to Catholic countries nor to 
the predominantly Christian West; they extend to all races, 
embrace all continents, are directed against all faiths, immut¬ 
ably, irresistibly, eternally guided by the fixed star of the 
Catholic Church: the unmitigated universal subservience of 
the whole of the human race. 

Such claims are not mere theoretical speculation. They are 
her very foundation stones. She acts upon them. Her history 
has been shaped by them. Her present activities revolve around 
them. She lias erected her standards and distributed her chief 
forces all over the planet to achieve them. They are the very 



WORLD FREEDOM AND CATHOLIC POWER 17 

archway without which her whole edifice would collapse. 
Consequendy they must be taken in earnest. 

That any Church should declare all others erroneous, ask for 
their suppression, and openly state it to be her exclusive right to 
convert the whole globe, is as objectionable as it is deserving of 
utter condemnation. 

But the Catholic Church does not confine herself to the 
exclusive monopoly of the religious allegiance of men. With 
deliberate vampiric deadliness, she goes further, by claiming 
that human society, in virtue of her being the unique repository 
of truth, must be erected only upon truth—that is to say, upon 
her doctrines. 

The portentous significance of this is evident. For religion 
is not only a theological system, but also a moral one. Its 
essence, therefore, besides being the relationship of man to 
God, is also the relationship of man to man—i.e. of man to 
society. 

Moral tenets, the by-products of religious ones, are the result 
of this. But moral tenets are inseparable from ethical, ethical 
from social ones, whereas economic, political, and ideological 
doctrines cannot be disassociated from each other or, inversely, 
from the social, ethical, moral, and, finally, religious principles 
whence ultimately they all derive. 

The structures of traditional contemporary society, there¬ 
fore, are still fundamentally based upon the tenets derived 
from religion. Now, if contemporary society is erected upon 
erroneous religious principles, it follows that their by-products, 
from moral to economic ones, are also erroneous. Hence the 
necessity for their substitution by ones based on the truth. As 
there is only one truth—Catholic truth—such new, true 
principles must be Catholic. 

The economic, social, and political structures of Christian 
countries which have rejected the truth—that is to say, all the 
nations where Protestantism or the Orthodox Church is pre¬ 
dominant—fall into this category, as do those built upon Islam, 
Buddhism, or, indeed, any other religion. 

By virtue of this, the Catholic Church claims it to be her 
right to alter the social and political structure of contemporary 
society throughout the world, and thus she is converted into a 
most powerful engine of spiritual aggression. 



18 WORLD FREEDOM AND CATHOLIC POWER 

Her exertions, which are simultaneously carried out every¬ 
where, are therefore aimed at the total disruption of the 
religious, social, and political edifices of all nations. Her 
ultimate object is their utter demolition, so that a civilization 
based exclusively upon her doctrines can be erected in their 
place. 

The Catholic Church, therefore, is not only a Church 
aiming, with vulturine greed, at the extinction of all other 
faiths, but also a most powerfully callous political institution 
working for the liquidation of a society not inspired by her. 

Consequently she is fighting Communism as a universal 
religion dealing with sociological matters as well as a political 
institution dealing with religious issues; while, inversely, 
Communism is fighting the Catholic Church as a political- 
religious institution dealing with sociological and political 
problems. 

Communist-Catholic enmity, therefore, is the most formid¬ 
able enmity in existence, their antagonism taking place simul¬ 
taneously on individual, regional, and global dimensions. It 
is the most formidable, not solely because of the inherent 
universality of their antagonism, but, above all, because each 
sees in the other the most redoubtable rival to its ultimate goal. 

Paradoxically enough, in this respect Catholicism is as revo¬ 
lutionary as Communism, both having the same aim: the 
wiping out of the present structure of society everywhere— 
except, of course, where a Catholic or a Communist society is 
already in existence—and their substitution by a wholly 
Catholic or Communist one all over the globe. 

The Catholic Church’s fight is one to save neither religion, 
freedom, nor Christian civilization. It is a fight to save 
Catholic religion, Catholic freedom, Catholic civilization. Her 
opposition to world revolution is not caused by her wish to save 
the freedom of the world, but by her wish to continue her old 
fight against the freedom of the world. It is the latest episode 
in her unrelenting struggle to eliminate the most dangerous of 
her contemporary enemies—Communism today, Socialism 
yesterday, Democracy and Liberalism in the last century, 
Protestantism in the eighteenth, seventeenth, and sixteenth 
centuries, the Turks in the fifteenth and fourteenth, the 
German Emperors in the thirteenth, the Heretics in the twelfth 



WORLD FREEDOM AND CATHOLIC POWER 19 

and eleventh, the Orthodox Church in the tenth and ninth, and 
the Barbarians in the centuries following the collapse of the 
Roman Empire. In each epoch she has malevolently directed 
immense crusades against anyone impeding her conquests. 

Each time that one of these was branded by her as the enemy 
of religion, of progress, or of civilization, allies fought with her 
for what they believed to be their freedom, only to find that, 
once the supposed enemy had been defeated, the Catholic 
Church had grown in power, their strength had been weakened, 
and their liberty restricted or eliminated altogether; this, while 
the freedom for which they had raised their standards had 
been imperilled more than ever by the claims, exertions, and 
policy of their former Catholic partner. 

At present most of the religious and democratic forces 
throughout the world have clustered with terrible urgency 
around the Catholic Church, the chief promoter of a mighty 
army against a common foe, persuaded that to strike an 
alliance with her will ensure their freedom by checking a 
world revolution. 

The twentieth century has already proved the fallacy of such 
a belief. 

Revolutions feed on misery. Misery is intensified by wars. 
Wars are the destroyers of the wealth of nations. In our times 
they are the sires of global upheavals, and thus the instruments 
of world collapse. The more civilization is weakened, the 
easier it is for the revolutionary virus to spread. The old 
structures of an already tottering civilization are destined to 
crumble. Religions, cultures, and ideologies which rely upon 
force to move the spirit of men are doomed to failure. To 
bank upon the alliance of a partner with the ambitions of 
Catholicism, therefore, is to court bankruptcy. Should the 
white race fail to produce something more inspiring than that, 
then it is truly closing time in the gardens of the West, 



3 

OMNIPOTENCE OF THE POPES AND 
THEIR CLAIMS TO UNIVERSAL 
DOMINION 


F rom the moment when, it is 
reputed, Peter, a fisherman from 
Galilee, set foot in the glittering 
capital of the Roman Empire until today, the mighty tides of 
history, which have risen and receded, battering and engulfing 
in the quicksands of time, kingdoms, dynasties, religions, 

S les, nations, political systems, men, ideas—indeed, whole 
zations—have been powerless to destroy those towering 
defiers of the millennia: the Popes. 

Popes have succeeded Popes, steadily, uninterruptedly, 
stubbornly, despite enemies and friends, corruption, disasters, 
hatred, persecutions, and the mighty blows of the 
centuries. 

They were executed, exiled, murdered, replaced, dethroned 
—and yet a Pope was ever watching and often directing the 
turbulent m ass-movements of mankind rolling across the 
riotous landscape of history. 

Nero, Caligula, Diocletian, Constantine, Julian the Apostate, 
and all the many other emperors, protectors, or haters of 
Christianity came and went, but the Popes remained. The 


20 



OMNIPOTENCE OF THE POPES 


21 


Roman eagles which had spread their wings from the skies of 
Britain to those of Africa, from Spain to the Danube, vanished, 
never to return, but the Popes remained. 

The Popes witnessed the birth of Constantinople and the 
collapse of the Roman Empire, the sacking of Rome and the 
oncoming of the Barbarians—the extinguishers of the civiliza¬ 
tion of the West. 

They dealt with the Huns and the Vandals, with the Avars 
and the Goths, and with all the numberless destroyers of 
culture pounding upon the ancient world as pitilessly and as 
terribly as the scourge of God. 

They saw idols in Mecca, heard the voice of a one-time 
camel-driver chanting in distant Arabia a strange, irresistible 
chant—“ There is no other God than God, and Mahomet is 
his Prophet ”—echoing like thunder to the marching of the 
armies of the caliphs rolling to the conquest of the East, 
burning with a faith made invincible by the sword and by the 
message of the Koran. 

They watched Islam sweep forward with the violence 
of a tornado, its followers glide like whirlwinds from the 
desert, take Asia, Africa, and Europe by surprise. They saw 
the lights of the nations of flourishing Eastern Christianity 
being extinguished, their churches converted into mosques, 
their congregations massacred or enslaved, until finally no 
longer Christ but Mahomet was acknowledged the true 
Prophet of God in the very lands which had produced the 
Tertullians, the Origens, the Chrysostoms, the Augustines, and 
all the other great Fathers of the Church. 

They participated in the creation of the first Frankish 
Empire and heard the earliest waitings of the birth-pangs of 
the emerging European nations. They saw Gaul evolve into 
France, the roving German tribes settle, Britain invaded by 
the Saxons and conquered by the Normans. They trembled 
before the peril of the succeeding Mongolian invasions, and 
heard the hooves of the cavalries of Genghis and Kublai Khan 
thunder from the easternmost tip of the Siberian tundras to 
Hungary and the vineyards of the Rhineland. 

They observed the tide of the Saracens invade Spain, ravage 
France, reach the gates of Vienna; the longships of the wild 
Vikings force their way up to the Seine and sack Paris; they 



22 


OMNIPOTENCE OF THE POPES AND 


envied the splendour of fabulous Baghdad, the seat of Haroun 
al Rashid, the greatest of the caliphs. 

We see Popes on the threshold of the first millennium 
dominate like giant shadows the darkness of the deepest 
Middle Ages. We see them deal with Hugh Capet and King 
Canute, with William the Conqueror and with Richard Coeur 
de Lion; we hear them hurl bolts against the Byzantine 
emperors and send encouragements to the remote Muscovites 
fighting against the Tartar invasions. We see them inspire the 
great mass-movements of the Crusades, hurl Christendom 
against Saladin and his successors, engineer alliances with the 
rulers of the West, spin counter-alliances against the great 
potentates of the East; deal with the rising Italian Republics 
emerging from the tenebrous skies of the Dark Ages, where the 
dawn of the oncoming Renaissance had rapidly begun to 
break, unveiling the lost cultures of Greece and Rome to the 
incredulous eyes of an ignorant, uncouth Europe. 

We see Popes promote the erection of majestic cathedrals 
and the creation of universities, encourage the foundation of 
religious orders, hospitals, academies, and schools. We see 
them listen in astonishment to the tales of Marco Polo and his 
Island of Zipangu. We hear of Popes admonished by a 
Bernard, reproached by a Catherine, and cursed by Dante; we 
watch others smash the Turkish might at Lepanto, summon 
Christian Europe to the help of Constantinople, bless 
Christopher Columbus, and apportion the Americas. We 
see them patronize in princely magnificence the Raphaels, 
Michelangelos, and Leonardos and protect and encourage 
the arts and humanities, the begetters of the modern 
world. 

But we see them also force Henry, the German Emperor, 
to kneel for three days in the snows of Canossa for doubting 
the supremacy of the ecclesiastical over the civil power; and 
we hear the halls of the great universities of Italy and Spain, 
of France and England, echo with Papal anathemas. We hear 
their voices order the massacre of the Albigenses, summon 
John Huss and have him put to death; we see them raise the 
terror of the Inquisition and order the Torquemadas to light 
the medieval towns with the burning bodies of heretics and 
of scholars. We hear Popes speak ill of the imitators of 



THEIR CLAIMS TO UNIVERSAL DOMINION 23 

Gutenberg and of the multiplication of the printing presses, 
fulminate against Luther and Calvin, hurl curses against 
Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth. We see Popes arm Catholic 
potentates against ever-growing Protestantism, fight in the 
Great Schism, plunge into the Hussite slaughters, and promote 
most of the wars of religion which ravaged the West for 
hundreds of years. 

We see them frown upon new astronomical discoveries, issue 
dark threats against the secret speculations of Copernicus, 
condemn Galileo for asserting that the earth moves; while 
others, on the very threshold of the seventeenth century, have 
a Giordano Bruno burned alive for his daring thoughts that 
other worlds besides ours might be inhabited. 

We see them ally themselves with kings, support rulers and 
tyrants, bless the immobile reaction of a whole continent and 
anyone strong enough to prevent the rising of the people. We 
see Popes fulminate against Voltaire, Rousseau, and all the 
French Encylopaedists, the Directory, Robespierre, and the 
French Revolution; disapprove of Volta and Galvani, the 
discoverer of electricity. We hear them reprobate the North 
American rebellion, interfere with the establishment of a free 
United States, attempt to retard the disruption of the Spanish 
Empire to prevent the emergence of the Latin-American 
Republics. 

We see them help the return of the old despots after the 
fall of Napoleon, sneer at the universal demand for constitu¬ 
tional governments, try to strangle the principles of Liberalism, 
of Democracy, of free scientific inquiry, of political specu¬ 
lation; execrate the economic doctrines of Marx, the scientific 
theories of Darwin; oppose any reforms endangering the old 
order at the very time when the tracks of the first railways 
were ramifying from country to country, the first telegraph 
wires were humming from homes to offices, the first machines 
were multiplying in the great modern factories, the first 
motor-cars were appearing on the roads of Europe and of 
America, the first films were flickering on primitive screens 
in France, Marconi was transmitting his first wireless signals 
in Bologna, Italy, the Wright brothers were flying their first 
aeroplanes at Kittyhawk, Carolina, and that monstrous night¬ 
mare of all lovers of the past, a gargantuan industrialism, wks 



OMNIPOTENCE OF THE POPES AND 


24 

transforming a stagnant pastoral world into the thunderous 
society of today. 

They intrigued during the Franco-Prussian War and the 
expansion of the British Commonwealth, during the rise of 
the Prussian Empire and the extension of Czarist Russia, 
during the rapid colonial race of the European nations, and 
the Russo-Japanese conflict, during the abortive Bolshevik 
revolution of Petrograd and the downfall of the Chinese 
Imperial colossus. 

They witnessed the great European powers burst into the 
First World War, the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian, 
Turkish, German, and Russian Empires, the rise of the 
characteristic totalitarian political systems of the twentieth 
century, built upon the ashes of the thirty million dead and 
the frustration of the living. 

They fought the establishment of Bolshevism in Russia, but 
negotiated with Lenin; they launched Catholic Parties, but 
helped the rise of Fascism in Italy; they condemned certain 
features of Nazism, but supported Hitler; and, during twenty 
years, by playing an ambiguous diplomacy, they encouraged 
the breaking of treaties, approved naked aggressions and the 
culmination of it all: the outbreak of the Second World War. 

They tried to prevent the Fascist dictatorships from crashing, 
created new political parties, and set out to mobilize the West 
against a seemingly invincible foe, Communism, which 
continued to spread throughout the globe during the night¬ 
mare of the ever-darkening peace that followed the Second 
World War, the Cimmerian incubator of the third. 

This, while only a short time before, at the Vatican, as in so 
many other capitals, the tremors of the first atomic bomb of 
Hiroshima had suddenly echoed, to herald the apocalyptic 
portents about to sweep upon a stunned twentieth century. 

Yet, although with the first atomic flash a new era for 
mankin d had begun, the Pope, surrounded by the shadows of 
all his predecessors, the silent witnesses of the rise and fall of 
races and civilizations, continued as impassively as ever to rule 
the Catholic masses, unshaken in his belief that the Church, 
as so often in the past, by meeting the new challenge would 
ultimately emerge the uncontested and sole ruler of the world 
of the future. 



THEIR CLAIMS TO UNIVERSAL DOMINION 


25 


On what is such a belief erected? 

It is erected on a monolithic certainty that the Papacy, as 
the visible incarnation of the claims of the Church, is not only 
indestructible but is destined to rule supreme above all nations 
and above all men. Consequently, as the fountainhead of 
all her majestic authority, the Papacy, by partaking of her 
indestructibility, becomes the receptacle of her spirit, of her 
mission, and of her will. 

Everything within the Catholic Church, therefore, is subject 
to the Pope. Her spiritual dominion is centred in him, her 
ecclesiastical government revolves round him, her diplomatic 
and political power is represented by him. He is the 
pinnacle of an orderly hierarchy, the claimer of a massive 
subservience, the dispenser of an inflexible discipline. By 
uniting in his person the government of the Church as a 
religious institution, the machinery of the Vatican as a diplo¬ 
matic centre, and the authority of a political potentate, the 
Pope has come to be the materialization of the intolerance, 
omnipotence, and absolutism of the Church. 

The concentration of such tremendous might has made of 
the Popes leaders whose will to dominate knows no bounds, 
who plan to rule generations not yet conceived. All this in 
the certainty of the inevitable spiritual and political unity of 
all nations under the Roman Pontiff, the visible instrument 
of the Church’s will. 

As such, the Popes are endowed with all the attributes 
inherent in the Papacy, as the Papacy is endowed with those 
of the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church’s inflexible 
aim, the conversion and subjugation of the human race, 
having been entrusted to the Papacy, it follows that all the 
exertions of the Popes are directed towards achieving such a 
goal. 

So the Pope, being the reflection of the Church, like the 
Church, cannot be on a par with anyone, admit any equal, or, 
even less, any superior. He must tower above institutions and 
men, as the Church must tower above all those who are within 
and outside her. As the Church is the only receptacle of 
truth, so the Pope is its sole defender. It is his duty to disperse 
its enemies, scatter opposition, and antiihilate error. To 
accomplish this, he must have power; and to exercise power 



OMNIPOTENCE OF THE POPES AND 


26 

lie must be above all—above all the faithful, above all citizens; 
i.e. above both Church and State. 

Hence a man, once elected Pope, in virtue of his office 
becomes the repository of the omnipotence of God. His faults 
and even crimes cannot stain the sanctity of his functions. His 
decisions, when he acts as the successor of St. Peter, emanate 
directly from the Divinity. Blind submission is due to him 
as to Christ Himself. 

One of the greatest authorities on the Church had no doubts 
on the subject: 

The Catholic Faith teaches, that every virtue is good, that every vice 
is bad. But if the Pope could err in commending vice, and forbidding 
virtues, the Church would be bound to believe that vices are good and 
that virtues are bad, unless she would sin against conscience . 1 

The credence of the omnipotent irresponsibility of the 
Papacy was incorporated in the very Canon Law. Were a 
Pope so lost to the duties of his high station that through 
negligence he drew innumerable multitudes of the faithful 
with him to hell, he is not to be reproved by any man, for he 
is to judge mankind, and not to be judged by man; the nations 
are to pray to him, for on him their salvation depends, next 
to God. 2 

No Christian can ever presume to avoid obedience or, worse 
still, to refuse the ordinances of the Popes: 

For ... is it not recognized as miserable madness when the child 
endeavours to subdue the father, or the disciple his master, and to impose 
unjust conditions on him who is known to have the powers of binding 
and loosing him not only on Earth, but in Heaven ? 3 

The Pope, therefore, being above all men, is also above all 
rulers, whose lands and kingdoms he, as their supreme 
legislator, should govern: 

The Pope can rule the kings and can govern the lords with stern laws, 
and he can command as many princes with hard decrees . 4 

The Pope is held to be not only the king of sovereigns and 
monarchs: he is more than a mortal being, and only a little 
less than God. This was not the opinion of the ignorant 
populace. It was that of responsible individuals: 



THEIR CLAIMS TO UNIVERSAL DOMINION 


2 ? 


You are not God, nor man; 
but neither and between both, 
whom God chose as partner; 
born in companionship with 
you He orders the world, 

nor One Person did He will all things for Himself, 
but He willed Earth and Heaven for Himself and you . 5 

If the Pope is second only to God, it follows that he partakes 
of the characteristics of the Divinity itself, and the medieval 
doctors could hardly find words to express such a credence 
adequately: 

The Pope is not simply a man, but almost a God on Earth . 6 

As a creature exalted above all, therefore, the Pope is 
without equal. That means that if there is only one God in 
heaven, so there ought to be only one God on earth. And 
who might such a God be, if not the Pope ? 

As there is only one God in heaven, so there ought to be a God on 
earth. All Christians, therefore, should look upon the Pope as God 
Himself . 7 

Such an opinion was provoked neither by the blasphemous 
delirium of superstitious crowds nor by the self-seeking of 
highly placed flatterers. It was the open conviction of the 
Middle Ages. It is the firm conviction, although discreetly 
professed, of the Catholics of today. Indeed, it is the belief of 
the Popes themselves, and hence of the Church, as proved by 
one of the most famous of them, Innocent III, who in a 
sermon delivered on his own coronation had no hesitation in 
claiming the same for himself: 

Now you may see who is the servant who is placed over the family of 
the Lord; truly is he the Vicar of Jesus Christ, the successor of Peter, the 
Christ of the Lord; placed in the middle between God and man, on this 
side of God, but beyond man; less than God, but greater than man; who 
judges all, but is judged by none . 8 

And when, on the same occasion, Innocent expressed his 
anxiety lest he should kill the souls that ought to enjoy eternal 
life, or give life to those which ought to die, one can measure 
the extent to which it was conceded that God had abnegated 
His power and had entrusted it to a mortal. 



28 


OMNIPOTENCE OF THE POPES AND 


It will not surprise anybody that in the fourteenth century, 
when such opinions were current, the legal author of the 
Richstich Landrecht, while defining with jealous care the 
boundary between Papal and Secular legislation, added that 
the clergy claimed for the Pope the right to alter the doctrines 
of the Apostles, as “the Pope is bound by no forms of Law; 
his pleasure being the Law.” Indeed, he could alter the 
decrees of the Almighty Himself, as testified by the belief, 
current throughout the Middle Ages, that Gregory the Great 
rescued the soul of the Roman Emperor Trajan from the 
eternal flames of hell simply by praying for him, a deed which 
has given no end of trouble to an infinite number of 
theologians and scholars ever since. 

The Papal attributes were pushed even further and, as 
recently as last century, were made to infringe not only upon 
the law of men, but also upon the laws of right and wrong: 
“ The Pope makes right of that which is wrong.” This is 
not all. The Pope could alter die very course of nature: “ The 
Pope can change die nature of things.” 0 Finally, words 
having become inadequate, the omnipotence of the Pope was 
typified by a dictum which, by openly defying human reason, 
expressed to the point of absurdity the unlimited power of the 
Popes: 

The Pope is all and over all; he can change square things into round . 10 

This was written in the middle of the nineteenth, and, in its 
essence, is still accepted in the twentieth, century—not only by 
the subjects of the Pope, which would be worthy of the 
greatest censure, but by modern Popes themselves. Witness 
Pius XII, who, in 1949, speaking of himself, did not hesitate 
to declare to an audience of hundreds of thousands: 

The Pope ... is invincible and unshakable. He is the proclaimer of 
truth.” 

Nor was the arrogance of such claims confined to the 
rhetorical field. In the minds of uncountable generations 
these were real, concrete attributes, by virtue of which the 
Popes were able to erect an immense structure, thanks to 
which they could keep their iron grip upon the Middle Ages 
and beyond. They produced incommensurable repercussions, 



THEIR CLAIMS TO UNIVERSAL DOMINION 29 

not only within the Church, but also within the social, 
economic, and political framework of nations, causing 
immense reverberations throughout the Western world. 

For the Popes did not content themselves with basking in 
the light of such glittering attributes; they acted upon them, 
on the assumption that, although less than God, they were 
truly beyond men, and therefore above all. The embodiment 
of civil authority—the councils ruling a town or republic, 
and the princes, kings, and emperors—were consequently 
subjects of the Popes, whom they had to acknowledge as their 
Lords in both religious and political matters: 

The supreme Pontiff, by divine right, has the fullest power over the 
whole world both in ecclesiastical and in political matters . 12 

This became one of the most contested claims which the 
Popes tried to uphold against potentates and nations, employ¬ 
ing all the spiritual and temporal power at their disposal, and 
which plunged Europe into endless wars and disasters. 

The political Papal supremacy was not left to the spon¬ 
taneous recognition of the secular rulers. It was pressed time 
and again by succeeding Popes throughout the centuries, in no 
uncertain terms and with such boldness that princes and kings 
more often than not could do nothing but bow, or pretend to 
bow, before the Papal assertion of Gregory VII that “ the 
Pope stands to the Emperor as the sun to the moon.” 

The most famous of such claims, however, is that made by 
Pope Boniface VIII, who, in his celebrated bull, Unam 
Sanctam, develops the classic idea of the two swords. Accord¬ 
ing to this conception, God has ordained two principalities on 
earth, typified by the secular sword and the spiritual sword, 
those of Kingship and Papacy. But of these two swords the 
lower is in subordination to the higher. King is under Pope, 
“ temporal authority is subject to the spiritual.” Hence the 
secular sword must be wielded for the Church’s progress 
whenever the Roman Pontiff invokes it. As an outward sign 
of this, Boniface was always preceded by two swords, carried 
before him as symbols of the Pope’s dual majesty. 

The authority of secular rulers does not derive from the 
citizens but from the Church, declared Innocent IV. That of 
kings and emperors, therefore, is not theirs, but belongs to the 



OMNIPOTENCE OF THE POPES AND 


30 

Church, from whom they have borrowed it with her 
consent: 

Secular rulers, exercising their authority, are only using a power which 
has been transferred to them, and which remains latent and potential 
in the bosom of the Church . 1 ' 1 

In virtue of this, they claimed to depose and enthrone rulers, 
kings, and emperors at will, on the ground drat if the Popes 
could “ bind and loose in heaven, so also they could take away 
and grant kingdoms, principalities, and all other possessions 

r _ _ >> 14 

or men. 

Popes not only issued encyclicals on the subject, but wrote 
directly to kings and emperors, pressing the Papal assertions. 
Clement V, first of the Avignon Popes, for instance, thus 
referred to a sentence passed by a king on a vassal of the 
Roman See: 

We annul it in virtue of the incontestable supremacy which the Holy 
Sec possesses over the Empire . . . and by that plenitude of power which 
the successor of St. Peter has received from Jesus Christ, King of Kings, 
and Lord of Lords . 15 

Very often they commanded kings to resign their power 
and to submit their claims to the Holy Pontiff, bringing 
against them the whole vast machinery of secular society if 
they dared to disregard the Papal command. Gregory VII 
deposed the Emperor, Henry IV, absolving all his subjects 
from their allegiance. Pope John XXII ordered the competi¬ 
tors for the Imperial crown, Frederick of Austria and Louis of 
Bavaria, “ to resign all power and submit their claims ” to 
him. Upon their refusal, the Pope declared the throne vacant, 
confirmed the nomination of Robert of Naples as Imperial 
Vicar, demanded that all who held office by appointment of 
the late emperor should resign under pain of excommunication 
and interdict, and in 1323 absolved all subjects of Louis of 
Bavaria from their allegiance. A similar thing happened to 
King John of England, whom Innocent III deposed, declaring 
him and his -posterity for ever incapable or occupying the 
English throne. 

If the Popes claimed to be supreme over kings and emperors, 
it followed that they extended such supremacy to any other 



THEIR CLAIMS TO UNIVERSAL DOMINION 31 

authorities, from the most exalted to the lowest; which enabled 
them to rend the whole structure of society from top to 
bottom, whenever it pleased them. They repeated such 
claims throughout the Middle Ages. An extract from the 
bull issued by Pope Paul IV, as late as 1559, is a typical 
example: 

Since, by reason of the office of the Apostolate to us divinely entrusted, 
the general cure of the flock of the Lord devolves to us . . . the Roman 
Pontiff, who is vice-regent of God the Lord Jesus Christ upon earth, 
having plenitude of powers over nations and kingdoms, judging all and 
being judged by none . . . decree that all persons whatsoever ... be they 
Counts, Barons, Marquis, Dukes, Kings and Emperors, who hitherto 
shall be found of deviating from the faith . . . shall ipso facto, without 
any process or law or proof of fact, be deprived of their dignities as 
Counts, Barons, Marquis, Dukes, Kings and Emperors, altogether and 
absolutely, and shall be in future held to be disqualified ... to be 
rehabilitated in their Duchies, Kingdoms and Empires . 16 

Such decrees made thrones fall and whole nations change 
their rulers or even become fiefs of the Roman Pontiffs. 

The pretensions of the Popes were not confined to the times 
when they towered aloft with all the pride and arrogance of 
rulers whose nods were laws. The Popes maintained them 
even after their power had been much reduced and, indeed, 
in many lands nullified altogether by the appearance of 
Protestantism. They threatened Protestant potentates with 
the same boldness, and although, more often than not, their 
commands were in vain, yet they were ominous of the 
unchanged claims of the Catholic Church. 

The bull which Pope Pius V wrote against Elizabeth of 
England in 1570 was a characteristic example: 

He that reigneth on high [he thundered in it], to whom is given all 
the power in Heaven and in Earth, hath committed the one Holy 
Catholic and Apostolic Church, out of which there is no salvation, to one 
alone on Earth, namely to Peter, prince of the apostles, and to the 
Roman Pontiff, successor of Peter, to be governed with a plenitude of 
power; this one he hath constituted Prince over all nations, and dll 
kingdoms, that he might pluck up, destroy, dissipate, ruin, plant and 
build. 

The bull was not a vain threat. It summoned the great 
Spanish Armada to the invasion of England. 

As the lordship of the Pope is not limited to one group of 



OMNIPOTENCE OF THE POPES AND 


3 2 

the faithful, but extends to all members of the Church, as well 
as to all members of society, so in the same way his supremacy 
extends not only over one single nation or group of nations, 
but over all nations of Christendom. That is to say, the Popes 
claim to be supreme over the whole of the Western World: 

It is notorious that Constantine thought that he to whom God had 
confided the care of heavenly things should rule earthly things [wrote 
Pope Gregory IX to the Emperor Frederick II, in October, 1236 J. There¬ 
fore he gave in perpetuity to the Roman Pontiff the imperial sceptre and 
insignia, with Rome and all its province, and the empire itself, consider¬ 
ing it infamous that in the place where the head of the Christian religion 
had been stationed by the heavenly sovereign, an earthly sovereign 
should exercise any power. 

This, however, was not enough. For as only the truth has 
the right to rule, and as the truth is to be found only in 
Christianity, and since its sole repository is the Catholic 
Church, so it follows that, as its head, the Pope ought to be 
acknowledged also in those lands where the Christian religion 
is not practised: that is to say, all over the world: 

Constantine, to whom belonged universal monarchy [went on Pope 
Gregory IXJ, wished that the Vicar of Christ and Prince of Apostles . . . 
should also possess the government of corporeal things in the whole 
world. 

Such claims were not theoretical. They were real, and had 
profound repercussions in the history of the West. 

The Popes of the Middle Ages attempted to erect a veritable 
empire upon them. Pope Innocent III, for instance 
(1198-1216), thundered that it was his right to exert temporal 
supremacy over all the crowns of Christendom. For, as the 
successor of St. Peter, he was simultaneously the supreme head 
of the only true religion and the temporal sovereign of 
the universe. By the end of his reign he had made the Papacy 
the temporal ruler of Naples, of the islands of Sicily and 
Sardinia, of almost all the States of the Iberian peninsula, such 
as Castille, Leon, Navarre, Aragon, of Portugal, of what arc 
now Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, of the Kingdom of 
Hungary, of the Slav States of Bohemia, of Serbia, of Bosnia, 
of Bulgaria, and of Poland. Also, it became de facto and de 
jure sovereign of England and of Ireland, after having com- 



THEIR CLAIMS TO UNIVERSAL DOMINION 33 

pelled King John of England to pay a yearly tribute, in to\en 
of the subjection of England and Ireland. Innocent III made 
himself also the temporal ruler of the Christian States founded 
in Syria. Indeed, he went further, and during the Crusades 
of 1202 he planned nothing less than the annexation to the 
Papacy of the Byzantine Empire. A Latin dominion came 
into being in the East, and, while the Byzantines became the 
temporal vassals of the Pope, the whole of the Greek Orthodox 
Church was compelled to acknowledge Roman religious and 
political supremacy. 

Even this was not all. The Popes claimed to be the only 
true temporal sovereigns of all the islands of the seas. In 
virtue of this Pope Hadrian IV granted the English king the 
hereditary lordship of Ireland, with a ring as symbol of 
investiture, conferring on him dominion over the island, 
which, “ like all Christian Islands, belonged of right to St. 
Peter and to the Roman Church.” 17 

Basing their rights upon this, the Popes went further, and 
claimed as their property all the islands and lands as yet 
undiscovered. In this way they disposed of nothing less than 
the Americas. 

Their exertions, directed at shaping the future of the New 
World, have a significance transcending mere historical 
speculations. The fact that they did not succeed in disposing 
of it as they wished should not minimize the importance of 
their attempt. For it must be remembered that they did not 
succeed simply because they were prevented from doing so. 
But what would have happened had they been permitted to 
brand the whole of the Western Hemisphere with Papal 
omnipotence? World history would have been made to turn 
in an entirely different direction. 

The discovery of America represents the most far-reaching 
revolution ever accomplished in the history of man. It 
shifted in its entirety the centre of gravity of the then known 
world, and consequently the character of our contemporary 
society. Had the Popes succeeded in directing it, it is no 
exaggeration to say that certain great nations—for instance 
the United States—would never have been permitted to see the 
light. This is not a conjecture, it is a certainty. For the 
Popes from the first, were clearly determined that the whole 



OMNIPOTENCE OF THE POPES AND 


34 

of the Americas be apportioned only to Catholic powers; 
indeed, that only Catholics be permitted to setde in the New 
World. In 1493, only one year after the discovery of America, 
Pope Alexander VI, as sole legal owner of all the Islands of 
the Oceans, granted the New World to King Ferdinand, 
proclaiming that all lands discovered or to be discovered west 
of a line one hundred leagues beyond the Azores belonged to 
Catholic Spain. Here are the relevant words in this astonish¬ 
ing document: 

Alexander Bishop, the Servant of the Servants of God, to our most 
beloved Son in Christ, King Ferdinando . .. 

We are credibly informed, that whereas of late you were determined 
to seek and find certain Islands and firm lands, far remote and unknown 

. . you have appointed our well beloved son Christopher Columbus . . . 
to seek (by the Sea, where hitherto no man hath sailed) such firm lands 
and Islands far remote, and hitherto unknown . . . 

Wc greatly commending this your godly and laudable purpose . . . 
We of our own motion, and by the fulness of Apostolical power, do 
give, grant and assign to you, your heirs, and successors, all the firm 
lands and Islands, found or to be found, discovered or to be discovered 
towards the West and South, drawing a line from the Pole Arctic to the 
Pole Antarctic (that is ) from the North to the South: Containing in this 
Donation whatsoever firm Land or Islands are found or to be found ... 

Towards India, or towards any other part whatsoever it be, being 
distant from, or without the foresaid Line, drawn a hundred leagues 
towards the West, and South, from any of the Islands which are com¬ 
monly called, De Los Azores and Capo Verde. 

All the Islands therefore, and firm Lands, found and to be found, 
discovered and to be discovered, from the said Line towards the West 
and South, such as have not actually been heretofore possessed by any 
other Christian King or Prince, until the day of the Nativity of our Lord 
fesus Christ last past.. . ls 

Following this with a second hull, the Pope added that 

all islands and mainlands whatsoever found and to be found ... in 
sailing or travelling towards the West or South, 

should also belong to Spain. 


When the Popes did not directly apportion the planet, they 
did it indirectly via their secular instruments, the Catholic 
nations. Thus, after Catholic Spain there followed Catholic 
Portugal, and in 1494 the Treaty of Tordesillas moved the 



THEIR CLAIMS TO UNIVERSAL DOMINION 35 

Papal line of demarcation to the meridian three hundred and 
seventy leagues west of the Azores. This resulted in yet 
another visible effect of Papal will upon the contemporary 
world: the existence of Portuguese Brazil. For the pushing 
of the line so far west caused a great part of the soon-to-be- 
discovered Brazilian bulge to be included in the Portuguese 
dominions. 

The New World was legally the absolute property of the 
Papacy. Hence only the subjects of the Popes were to be 
permitted to settle there. Immediately the earliest portion 
of American soil was colonized—i.e. the Island of Santo 
Domingo, one of those visited by Columbus on his first voyage 
—the Popes, acting via their “ vassal,” the most Catholic King 
of Spain, decreed that no converted Jews, Moors, or heretics, 
but only Catholic Christians, might inhabit, setde in, or even 
visit the New World. 

When Balboa crossed the Isthmus of Panama and discovered 
the Pacific Ocean, a Catholic priest who was a member of the 
expedition rushed into the waves with a crucifix, shouting: “ I 
take possession of this ocean in the name of Jesus Christ! 
—and hence in the name of the Pope, the Pope being His 
representative on earth. 

Pope Leo, long after feudalism had passed away, upheld as 
intransigently as ever the conception of earth-ownership, 
which has clung to the Papal mind more firmly than ever since 
the occasion when, not as arbiter in any dispute, but as a world 
suzerain, he granted to the King of Portugal permission to 
possess all kingdoms and islands of the Far East, which he had 
wrested from the infidel, and all that he would in future thus 
acquire, even if up to that time unknown and undiscovered. 

The destiny of the Americas and of Asia took a different 
course from that charted by the Pope, as the Papal will was 
soon to be infringed by rebellious and impatient nations. Yet, 
because destiny had decreed that Papal arrogance be stultified 
by the future, to believe that the monarchic claims of the 
Roman Pontiffs are events of no import, even if glowing still, 
in the hallucinatory halls of history, with the sinister radiance 
and mellowed aura of the centuries, would be to commit a 
most grievous error. 

Papal assertions are not buried under the dusty grandeur of 



OMNIPOTENCE OF THE POPES 


36 

a half-forgotten past. They are as unmodified, as unchanged, 
and as unaltered as ever. 

Today, perhaps even more than when the Hildebrands and 
the Gregories were making the thrones of the West rock to 
their foundations, they have been transmuted into the most 
powerful inspirers of that unrelenting Papal imperialism 
which, armed with all the dumb malevolence of a pernicious 
institution basking in the prestige of antiquity, thrives with 
callous, vulturine deadliness upon the panicky desperation of 
contemporary man. Indeed, which is patiently biding its time 
to erect once more its ancient standards and to distribute its 
chief forces throughout the earth, in its vampiric determination 
to coerce mankind into ultimate unmitigated universal sub¬ 
mission when, before the astonished nations, the Popes may be 
owned anew the masters of the world. 



4 


PAPAL PROMOTION OF 
CONTEMPORARY RELIGIOUS 
SUPERSTITION FOR POLITICAL 
PURPOSES 


O NCE THE POPES HAD ASSERTED THEIR 

supremacy over the whole world, 
it was but a short step to claim 
universal supremacy over all its inhabitants. This claim was 
repeated and acted upon by numerous Pontiffs for centuries. 
Indeed, it became one of the foundation stones of the Catholic 
Church throughout the Middle Ages, and remains the founda¬ 
tion stone of the Catholic Church today. The exertions of 
Catholicism are based upon it. All the activities of the 
Catholic Church as a religious institution and of the Vatican 
as a political one have been and are still inspired by it. 

The Popes, in fact, declare that no man can be saved unless 
he is a member of the Church—that is to say, a subject of the 
Popel Innocent IV published an encyclical in which, after 
having asserted that the Pope has sovereign dominion over the 
whole world, he stated: 

The Popes have received sovereignty not only Pontifical but royal, and 
the Empire not only of heaven but of Earth. . . . Outside the Church 

37 



PAPAL PROMOTION OF CONTEMPORARY RELIGIOUS 

there is no building save Hell, and there exists no power ordained by 
God_ 1 

While another Pope boldly declared: 

The Roman Pontiff, constituted by God above Kings and Kingdoms, 
is the supreme hierarch of the Church militant, and has obtained 
principality over all mortal men. 3 

But where the Papacy surpassed itself in its claim to 
universal rulership over all mankind was in the dogmatic 
definition given by one of its most formidable Popes, 
Boniface VIII, who, in one of the most famous documents of 
Catholicism, explicitly asserted that no human being could be 
saved unless he were a subject of the Pope: 

We declare, define, establish and decree that every human creature, 
under the rigid necessity of saving his soul, must be subject to the Roman 
Pontiff . 3 

Are these only the teachings of the Popes of the Middle 
Ages? Not at all. These are the doctrines of the Popes of 
the last and of the present century. Indeed, the modern 
Popes, far from discarding such claims, have solemnly added 
others no less incredible. 

The modern Popes, in fact, have in addition declared them¬ 
selves the direct mouthpieces of God and, like God, infallible. 
The relevant words of the definition of their infallibility, 
uttered in 1870, read: 

. . , We teach and define that it is a dogma divinely revealed that the 
Roman Pontiff, when he speaks ex cathedra . . . that is, when in the 
discharge of his office of pastor and teacher of all Christians . . . is . . . 
possessed of that infallibility with which the Divine Redeemer willed 
that the Church should be endowed in defining doctrine regarding faith 
or morals', and that therefore such definitions of the Roman Pontiffs are 
(of themselves, and not from the consent of the Church) irreformable. 4 

The modern Popes, it should be noticed, declare themselves 
infallible as the teachers, not of all Catholics, but of all 
Christians. Consequently, in their eyes, all Protestants and all 
Orthodox still owe them allegiance. 

The Popes today, by claiming more forcibly than even their 
predecessors that all baptized individuals are their subjects, 
assert with unheard-of arrogance that all Protestants must look 
upon them as their teachers and their masters. This is an 



SUPERSTITION FOR POLITICAL PURPOSES 39 

infallible utterance, and must be accepted as such. All 
Protestants, therefore, must believe what the Pope teaches. For 
instance, that the Virgin Mary ascended bodily into heaven. 
Is this against the credence of the Bible, of Christianity, or of 
human reasoning? The Pope has spoken. It is the truth. 

Should anyone refuse to accept it, Papal omnipotence is 
threatened against him. Today, such omnipotence cannot 
openly delegate a docile secular arm or the Holy Inquisition. 
Modern society has seen to it that such proceedings be 
discarded. But the Pope still has the full exercise of his 
powers. And although to non-Catholics they might sound 
hollow—and, indeed, non-existent, deprived as they have been 
of their ancient physical coercion—yet the fact remains that 
Papal fulminations are still directed against them with the 
same arrogance as of old. 

On November i, 1950, Pope Pius XII, standing on the steps 
of St. Peter’s, in Rome, before a crowd of 700,000 convened 
there from all over the world, after having proclaimed that the 
belief that the Virgin Mary ascended bodily into heaven 
became a dogma from that moment onwards, because he said 
so, ended the reading of the Papal Bull with a solemn threat. 

No one may be permitted to violate this, our declaration, proclamation, 
and definition, or to oppose or to transgress it, 

were his actual words. 

If anyone should dare to attempt this, let him know that he will incur 
the indignation of God Almighty. 

The power of the Papacy has been broken. But the spirit 
of dominion is still there, as living, as intransigent, ana as 
combative as ever. Far from being dead, it is dynamically 
active, screened by the mantle of religion, often unrecognized, 
but feverishly engaged with schemes of great import to the life 
of all nations. For the Pope now has put forward even more 
dangerous claims. He has decreed himself to be as infallible 
as God when he defines doctrines, not only on “faith,” but 
also on “morals.” The field of morals is boundless. It 
embraces practically all the activities of our contemporary 
society. Divorce is a moral question: the Pope’s pronounce¬ 
ments upon it, therefore, are infallible. But divorce, although 
primarily a moral issue, is equally a paramount social one. 



PAPAL PROMOTION OF CONTEMPORARY RELIGIOUS 


40 

Consequently, the Pope indirectly claims infallibility also in 
social questions. But arc not social questions the begetters of 
practically all political problems? Hence Papal infallibility 
reverberating even further and affecting the political life of the 
modern world. 

No wonder the various nations of the West, when the 
Vatican began to take the first ominous steps which were to 
lead to the declaration of Papal infallibility, agitated with a 
view to taking measures to prevent the Vatican from issuing 
such a dogma, on the score that the Papacy was seeking to 
establish a temporal overlordship in the West. 5 

But this is not yet enough. 

The Popes claim the rulership of, in addition to this planet, 
the next fife. In virtue of the power of the keys, they say 
they can lock or unlock the gates of hell, commit individuals, 
communities, and whole generations either to its eternal flames 
or to the splendour of heaven. 

They are lords, not only of the bodies, but also of the souls 
of men; not only of their present, but also of their future, both 
in this and in the world to come. 

More, the Popes have jurisdiction in heaven itself. The 
heavenly hosts—indeed, their very angelic leaders—must bow 
to their decrees. Fantastic theological aberrations of some 
Pontiff of the darkest Middle Ages? By no means. Just a 
routine claim of the Popes of the twentieth century. Such 
Papal omnipotence, in fact, to the incredulity of the cynics— 
and no less, one feels sure, to the astonishment of the angelic 
being concerned—was exercised by Pope Pius XII, when, by 
means of a Papal Brief issued on April 2, 1951, he officially 
promoted the Archangel Gabriel to the rank of supreme super¬ 
visor of all the telephones and telephonists, television sets and 
television fans, of the world. 8 


The promotion of Gabriel to such a lofty position might be 
a cause for mirth to many, for scandal to Protestants, and for 
embarrassment to some Catholics. Yet the Pope’s power to 
mobilize religious superstition should not be lightly dismissed. 
For he can still make it yield political results of the gravest 
consequence in this our atomic era. 



SUPERSTITION FOR POLITICAL PURPOSES 


4 1 

One of the most striking instances, for cunning unmatched 
by even the Popes of the Middle Ages, has been given by 
Pius XII. 

Pius XII, in addition to the laurels gathered as a super¬ 
diplomat and arch political tactician, since his coronation 
successfully added new ones—those of an extra-holy being. 
Unlike any one of his predecessors he did that simply by 
sanctifying himself through the manufacture of a miracle and 
by asking all the faithful to believe that God had favoured him 
with special direct messages from heaven. Slanderous fable? 
Fantastic invention of anti-Catholic minds? Not at all. 
Official statement of the Catholic Church herself. Here is the 
official version of it: 

On the afternoon of October 30,1950, at 4 p.m., “ the Holy 
Father turned his gaze from the Vatican gardens to the sun, 
and there there was renewed for his eyes the prodigy of the 
Valley of Fatima.” And what was the prodigy? “ . . . He 
was able to witness the life of the sun [a huge sphere 866,000 
miles in diameter] under the hand of Mary. The sun was 
agitated, all convulsed, transformed into a picture of life; in a 
spectacle of celestial movements; in transmission of mute but 
eloquent messages to the Vicar of Christ.” 7 

This did not occur once, but on three successive days: 
October 30,31, and November 1,1950. 

The news of this astounding miracle, with its “ eloquent 
messages to the Vicar of Christ ” direct from heaven, was 
solemnly announced on October 13, 1951, to a monster gather¬ 
ing of one million people convened at Fatima, Portugal, by 
none less than a cardinal specifically sent there by Pius XII 
himself.® 

The significance of this event and of the direct message to 
the Pope, however, cannot be properly appreciated unless the 
full significance of Fatima is understood. Fatima, a desolate 
locality in Portugal, became a shrine when, in 1917, the year 
of the Russian Revolution, the Virgin Mary appeared 
repeatedly, with a momentous message, to three illiterate 
children. The apparition was accompanied by a somewhat 
irregular occurrence. “ After a few moments of brilliant sun¬ 
shine, the sun became pale, three times it turned speedily on 
itself like a Catherine-wheel, sending forth rays of the fairest 



42 PAPAL PROMOTION OF CONTEMPORARY RELIGIOUS 

colours of the rainbow. At the end of these convulsive revolu¬ 
tions it seemed to jump out of its orbit and come towards the 
people in a zigzag course, stopped, and returned again to its 
normal position.” 9 This, it should be noted, was seen 
also by a large crowd near the children and “ lasted twelve 
minutes.” 

Neither in 1917 nor in 1950 did the two billion human 
beings see anything odd in the earth’s luminary. The 
astronomers also remained strangely mute. And ninety-three 
million miles away the sun continued to plunge with its 
planetary system along the immensities of the universe, just as 
if the three simple Portuguese children or the most astute of 
modern Popes had never seen it agitate, rotate, and, indeed, 
“ jump out of its orbit.” 

Yet masses of Catholics came to believe that the sun had 
truly moved towards the people “in a zigzag course,” behaving 
in that most unastronomical fashion as a concrete proof of the 
authenticity of the divine message delivered to the three 
children in 1917 and to the Pope in 1950. 

The Virgin Mary had been very specific about what had 
motivated her first to appear and then to make the sun “ jump 
out of its orbit.” She had done that to induce the Pope to 
bring about “ the consecration of the world ” to her 
“ immaculate heart,” followed by “ the consecration of 
Russia.” “ If people attend to my petition,” the Virgin Mary 
had continued, “ Russia will be converted, and there will be 
peace.” But, she warned, were this not accomplished, then 
“ her [Russia’s] errors will spread throughout the world, 
causing wars and persecutions . . . different nations will be 
destroyed.” In die end, however, the Virgin promised, by 
way of consolation, the Catholic Church would triumph, after 
which “ the Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me.” 
Thereupon “ she [Russia] shall be converted, and a period of 
peace will be granted to the world.” 

These quotations are from the authenticated message of the 
Virgin Mary, as related to one of the children, and fully 
accepted by the Catholic Church as a genuine revelation of the 
Mother of God. 10 

This became the essence of the divine tidings. Within a few 
years the new cult had developed into one of the most success- 



SUPERSTITION FOR POLITICAL PURPOSES 


43 

ful of the Catholic Church. And, curiously enough, its 
importance grew parallel with the equally rapid intensification 
of the anti-Communist crusade, promoted by the Vatican. 

The number of pilgrims grew from 60 on June 13, 1917, to 
60,000 in October of that same year. From 144,000 in 1923 to 
588,000 in 1928. 11 In 1929 Pope Pius XI, after sealing an 
official alliance with Mussolini, the first modern Fascist dictator 
to be brought in on the crest of an anti-Bolshevik wave, 
granted official approval to the new cult. In 1932, while 
German Nazis were careering to power on the strength of the 
same anti-Red policy, the Vatican reinforced the cult by 
sending none other than a Papal Nuncio to Fatima. In 1936. 
when Catholic Franco launched the civil war against the legal 
but “ Red ” Spanish Government, the novel cult of Fatima 
received a further impetus. By 1938 two-thirds of Europe had 
been already Fascistized and, to a great extent, “ Fatima-ized.” 
European “ Fatima-ization,” however, had been restricted to a 
rather small circle of believers. In view of the possibility and, 
indeed, the near certainty of an oncoming attack against Soviet 
Russia, it became necessary to mobilize not only the Fascist 
armies, but also something far more potent than any anti- 
Communist leader could offer: promotion of ideological 
odium via religious emotionalism. This could be done by a 
further intensification of the cult of Fatima. 

It was thus that, at this juncture, the Vatican sprang its 
second, most important master-stroke. This consisted in 
heightening even further the mystical facet of the phenomenon 
of Fatima by bringing into it the essence of mystery, a most 
necessary ingredient of individual and organized superstition 
in ancient and modern times. 

The result was that in May, 1938, almost half a million 
pilgrims convened at Fatima. These were informed-—or, 
rather, reminded—that the Virgin Mary had originally con¬ 
fided three great secrets to the children, but that at the same 
time the Virgin had strictly forbidden that they be disclosed to 
anyone. The psychological tension had been created and with 
it the mood for a favourable reception of anything that might 
lead to the disclosure of the three great divine mysteries. Then 
—notice the timing—in June the only surviving child, acting 
on the advice of her confessor, constantly in direct' contact 



44 PAPAL PROMOTION OF CONTEMPORARY RELIGIOUS 

with the Head of the Portuguese hierarchy, revealed to her 
bishop two of the three great secrets confided to her by the 
Mother of Christ. 

The first was the vision of hell, which certainly did not 
disclose anything new to modern man. 

The second was more to the point: a reiteration that Soviet 
Russia would be converted to Catholicism, as already seen. 

The third was given sealed and is in the custody of 
ecclesiastical authority. It will not be revealed until i960. 

With this dramatic revelation, or rather reiteration, of the 
second secret, Fatima swiftly assumed a tremendous new reli¬ 
gious and political significance. The shrine became overnight 
the most serious competitor of the French Lourdes, the then 
topmost miracle-manufacturer of Catholic worship. The 
timing of the revelation could not have been better chosen. 
The following year, 1939, the Second World War broke out. 
In June, 1941, Hitler invaded Soviet Russia. The Virgin’s 
prophecy was being fulfilled to the letter. Catholic volunteers 
joined the Nazi armies from Italy, France, Ireland, Belgium, 
Holland, Latin America, the U.S.A., and Portugal. Spain 
sent her Blue Division. Many of the volunteers went to fight 
the Soviets, prompted by ideological hatred, but most by their 
desire to become the chosen instruments for the fulfilment of 
the Fatima prophecy. 

In October, 1941, while the Nazi Army rolled towards 
Moscow, Pius XII, speaking to Portugal, urged Catholics to 
pray for the speedy realization of the Lady of Fatima’s 
promises. The following year, 1942, after a speech by Hitler 
in which the Fuehrer had declared that Soviet Russia had 
definitely been defeated, Pope Pius XII, in a Jubilee message 
over the radio, fulfilled the first injunction of the Virgin, and 
“ consecrated the whole world ” to the Immaculate Heart of 
Mary. 

Catholic hierarchies declared that the new era predicted by 
the Mother of God had arrived: “ We believe that the appari¬ 
tions of Fatima open a new era,” wrote Cardinal Cerejeira in 
the same year. “It is the foreshadowing of what the 
Immaculate Heart of Mary is preparing for the whole world.” 
The new era in 1942 was a totally Nazified European 
Continent, with Soviet Russia seemingly wiped off the map for 



SUPERSTITION FOR POLITICAL PURPOSES 45 

good, Japan conquering half of Asia, and World Fascism at its 
zenith everywhere. 

The Fascist Empire vanished with the collapse of the Fascist 
nations. In 1945 the Second World War ended. And Soviet 
Russia emerged as the second greatest power on earth. 

The cult of Fatima, with the receding fortunes of the Nazi 
armies, had, curiously enough, suffered a parallel devotional 
recess. Only a few months after the end of the war, however, 
it was suddenly revived, and in October, 1945, after a briefing 
from Vatican City, monster pilgrimages were once more 
organized by the sundry hierarchies of Europe. 

The following year Our Lady of Fatima was solemnly 
crowned, before a gathering of 500,000 people, with a golden 
crown weighing 1,200 grammes, with 313 pearls, 1,400 
diamonds, and 1,250 other precious stones. Pius XII, after 
having told them by radio that the message of Fatima would 
be fulfilled, exhorted them to make ready. “ There can be no 
neutrals, but only one hundred per cent Catholics,” he said. 
Therefore, “ never step back,” but “ line up as crusaders.” 13 

In 1947 the “ cola war ” was initiated. The Vatican 
promoted the religious-ideological side of it with mounting 
admonitions to the Catholic world. A statue of Our Lady of 
Fatima, with her message, was sent on “ pilgrimage ” from 
country to country, to arouse anti-Communist odium. The 
statue was received with immense religious fervour wherever it 
went, being welcomed not only by the sundry Catholic 
hierarchies but very often by whole governments as well. 
Within a few years it had travelled over fifty-two nations in 
Europe, Asia, Africa, the Americas, and Australia. Simul¬ 
taneously, the U.S.A., having put herself at the head of 
anti-Communist forces the world over, set out to mobilize 
anti-Communist armies, and the East-West split continued to 
widen. 

About 1948 a frightful American-Russian atomic armaments 
race began. In 1949 Pope Pius XII, to strengthen the anti- 
Bolshevik ideological unity of the West, excommunicated any 
Catholic belonging to or supporting the Communists. And 
soon afterwards American Catholic theologians began to tell 
America that it was her duty to use atom bombs to save the 
West from Communism. 13 



4 6 PAPAL PROMOTION OF CONTEMPORARY RELIGIOUS 

Then Our Lady of Fatima appeared once more. This time 
on the other side of the world, where the anti-Communist 
front needed solidification—to a nun in the Philippines. And, 
during fifteen new Asiatic visits, she once more reiterated her 
warning against Communism. After which a shower of 
fragrant rose petals fell at the nun’s feet as a token of the 
reality of these celestial visits. An American Jesuit “ took the 
miraculous petals back to the U.S.A., where he used them to 
fire with renewed energy the anti-Communist efforts of 
fanatical American Catholics, among these, “ character 
assassin ” Senator McCarthy, and rosary-kissing Senator 
McCarran. 

In January, 1950, the duplicate of the original statue of 
Fatima, which Bishop Da Silva had blessed in 1947—following 
the encouragement of Pope Pius XII and the approval of the 
American Ambassador in Moscow, Admiral Kirk, subse¬ 
quently Chairman of the “ American Committee for the Libera¬ 
tion of the People of Russia”—was taken by plane to Moscow 
by Fr. Arthur Brassard, an American, and placed in the 
church of the foreign diplomats, there to await the “ imminent 
liberation of Soviet Russia.” The imminent liberation of Russia 
was not to be accomplished by angels, but by American 
bombers, as testified by certain American generals—e.g. 
General Grow, appointed U.S. military attache in the Russian 
capital in July, 1950. To destroy Soviet Russia “ anything, 
truth or falsehood,” was good, said General Grow. Therefore 
“ we must start by hitting [Russia] below the belt.” That is 
to say, the U.S.A. must start a war. “ War, as soon as possible. 
Now! ” became the General’s slogan. 

During that same summer, while Americans took statues of 
Our Lady of Fatima to Moscow, blood-thirsty American 
generals asked for “War. Now!”, and American ambas¬ 
sadors were promoting Committees for the Liberation of Soviet 
Russia. Mr. Matthew, a Privy Chamberlain of the Pope, but 
in his official capacity none other than the Secretary of the 
American Navy, shocked Europe and the world by publicly 
asking for a “ preventive atomic war ” to liberate Soviet 
Russia. 15 

American Catholic theologians came to the fore, humbly 
eager to help the fulfilment of the promise of Fatima, and 



SUPERSTITION FOR POLITICAL PURPOSES 47 

assured the U.S.A. that they could use the hydrogen bomb 
without bothering about their conscience, provided diey used it 
against the Soviets. 16 

Simultaneously Blue Armies, pledging themselves to fulfil 
the request of Our Lady, were organized. The Fatima soldiers 
did daily penance in reparation, said the rosary, wore a 
scapular, and, above all, did all in their power to oppose 
Communism, help those who were fighting it, and support 
any individual, organization, nation, or group of nations to 
liberate Russia from Bolshevism as the first step towards the 
incorporation of that country into the Catholic Church. By 
the end of the year 800,000 people had enrolled in the Blue 
Army in the U.S.A. alone. 

In 1951 the largest pilgrimage ever organized convened at 
Fatima, by now the undisputed top shrine of Catholicism. 
The third stepping-stone to the ideological magnification of the 
message was laid, with all the emotional superstitious allure¬ 
ment of which the Catholic Church was capable. As we have 
already seen, a cardinal, the special representative of the Pope, 
told the million listeners that “ another person has seen this 
same miracle. He saw it outside Fatima; he saw it years later; 
he saw it at Rome. . . . The Pope, the same our Pontiff Pius 
XII, he saw it! ” 17 

One week later the President of the U.S.A. stunned America 
by designating the first American Ambassador to the Vatican, 
General Mark Clark, a personal friend of Pius XII, and, more 
ominous still, Chief of the American Army Field Forces 
(October 21,1951). 

Ten days later (November 1, 1951) atom bombs of a new 
type were exploded in the Nevada desert, in the first atom 
warfare manoeuvre in history in which troops were stationed 
near the atomic burst. 

The personal friend of Pope Pius XII, the first American 
Ambassador-designate to the Vatican, General Mark Clark, 
was one of the leading military men directing the atomic 
manoeuvre. Atomic warfare, with all the horrors it involved, 
had been initiated. 

Almost simultaneously another no less important American 
personage got a new assignment—Mr. George Kennan, desig¬ 
nated as new U.S. Ambassador to Moscow. The designa- 
C 



48 PAPAL PROMOTION OF CONTEMPORARY RELIGIOUS 

tion was more than ominous. Mr. Kennan was the architect 
of the Truman-Acheson “ containment policy,” specifically 
directed against Soviet Russia, around which the whole 
American policy of colossal rearmament was revolving. But, 
more portentous still, the new American Ambassador to 
Moscow was none other than the head of the “ Free Russia 
Committee,” a body, as its name implied, set up to promote 
the liberation of Russia from Communism. Prominent among 
its American members: leading figures of die American 
Cadiolic Church, ardent devotees of Fatima, and big names in 
Finance and die giant Corporations. 

At the same time almost four million copies of an American 
magazine flooded the U.S.A. and many bookstalls of Europe. 
The whole issue of 130 pages was dedicated to the coming 
atomic war against Soviet Russia. War against Russia, it was 
declared, would begin in 1952. Russia, it predicted, would be 
defeated and occupied. After the “ liberation,” which would 
occur in 1955, while Czarism would be reinstalled and the 
economic reconstruction would be handed over to the Ford, 
Rockefeller, and Carnegie Trusts, complete religious freedom 
would be proclaimed. 18 

The “ conversion ” of Russia, as predicted by the Virgin 
Mary, would thus have become a reality when the third secret 
would be revealed by the Church in i960. 10 Russia, now 
under the spiritual care of the Pope, would become a Catholic 
nation, and peace would bless the world for decades to come. 

Catholics had been making special prayers for just this since 
1947, when Catholic hierarchies openly urged the faithful to 
special devotions to Our Lady of Fatima, to induce her to carry 
out a speedy fulfilment of her promise. These special prayers 
were not only chanted in the West; they were whispered with 
understandable caution even in Communist countries. In 
Eastern Europe the churches “ were filled with people praying 
for a war of liberation.” Western Catholics understood and 
approved. “ There is something shocking about praying for 
war,” was the comment of a leading Catholic organ, “ but we 
shall not understand contemporary history if we forget that 
this is what millions of good Christians are doing.” 30 

To foster Catholic zeal for a “ war of liberation,” the 
Vatican did not rely solely on the power of prayers. To 



SUPERSTITION FOR POLITICAL PURPOSES 


49 

strengthen these with the blindest fanaticism of superstition it 
went to lengths that could not be believed, were they not true. 
A few months after the announcement of Pius XII’s 
“ miracle,” owing to the unpublicized embarrassment of not a 
few Catholics, particularly in Protestant countries, not to 
mention the sneers of nominal but sceptical ones in Catholic 
lands, the Osservatore Romano related, with all its massive 
official authority, how the Pope had truly witnessed “ a miracle 
of die sun,” referred to by Cardinal Tedeschini when he told 
the story at Fatima, Portugal, on October 13, 1951. 

We live in an age when even Catholics—a very tiny 
minority of them, it must be admitted—sometimes get 
impatient and ask for proofs. The Osservatore Romano is an 
organ which is celebrated throughout the world, particularly 
in certain capitals such as Washington, for its veracity, matter- 
of-fact, trustworthy news, and factual, sober comment and 
grasp of concrete situations. 

The Osservatore was once more true to its reputation. And 
the Pope’s newspaper published on its front page two 
“ rigorously authentic ” photographs showing the prodigy of 
Fatima on October 13, 1917. The captions were even more 
matter-of-fact: “ At 12 o’clock the vision began. At twenty 
minutes past 12 the rainy weather cleared up, and soon after¬ 
wards a voice cried: “ Look at the sun! ” 

The two “ authentic ” photographs clearly show the black 
spot in the sun, caused by the rapid whirling, and the position 
reached by the sun itself, almost level with the horizon, 
although the photographs were taken at 12.30 p.m. “ This 
position,” commented the sober Osservatore, “ would have 
been absolutely impossible at the hour when the pictures were 
taken, at 12.30 p.m.” 

The sun, in other words, was on the horizon when it should 
have been where any well-behaved sun is at any ordinary, 
common noon. An even greater miracle, which, however, 
the Osservatore, having no proofs, did not mention, was that, 
apart from the photographer, the rest of mankind never 
noticed the sun falling on to the horizon at noon on October 
13,1917. 

The Osservatore then recalled “ another surprising fact ” 
which occurred at the Vatican thirty years later—“ At the 



50 PAPAL PROMOTION OF CONTEMPORARY RELIGIOUS 

time when the entire Catholic family was rejoicing, in union 
with the Vicar of Jesus Christ, in the dogmatic definition of 
Our Lady’s Assumption into heaven.” The Papal organ has 
always been sober of words, particularly if the events it reports 
are supported by “ rigorously authentic ” photographs. In a 
curt, authoritative summing up, commented the Osscrvatorc : 
“ It is not our task to draw deductions from these singularly 
analogous events ”—notice its humility and its caution—“ but 
Our Lady’s interventions frequently happen in the gravest days 
of the Church’s history, even with signs directed personally to 
the successor of Peter.” 21 

The “ signs directed personally to the successor of Peter,” 
however, to the sceptical were of a more earthly, matter-of-fact, 
and tragic character. Pius XII had played no mean role in 
their promotion. In February, 1951, in a Lenten eve message, 
he made an ominous comparison of the present with the 
fourth-century “ barbaric invasion,” alluding to the menace of 
Soviet Russia, 

when the barbarians’ invasion of the Roman Empire brought to 
Rome the germs of a rapid decadence with unbelievable suffering. Is 
there not a similarity between these conditions of that time and the 
present? 

he asked. Thereupon he concluded his message by exhorting 
Catholic priests and laymen “ to multiply their efforts to 
exterminate the germs of a rapid decadence threatening the 
modern world, as they did at the time of St. Augustine.” 22 

Soon afterwards, the most spineless dummies of the Holy 
See—e.g. the Portuguese, Spanish, Latin-American, and Italian 
hierarchies—reiterated the same message, stressing the parallel 
of the “ barbaric invasion,” and, like the Pope, pointing at 
Soviet Russia. 

The danger of the “ barbaric invasion ” was stressed with 
equal urgency also in Protestant countries—e.g. England and 
Australia. In the latter, the Australian hierarchy came out 
with a formidable document, hailed by the Australian govern¬ 
ment, directed to all Catholics in Asia, which referred to the 
“ barbaric invasion ” of Asian Communism and urged them 
to be ready. 23 

The American hierarchy became no less anxious, and, taking 
for an excuse the moral corruption of the U.S.A., they, too, 



SUPERSTITION FOR POLITICAL PURPOSES 


51 

stressed die fact of the U.S.A. and the world being threatened 
by a “ barbaric invasion,” similar to that which destroyed the 
Roman Empire 1,500 years ago. “ The problems of that 
Empire closely resemble those which sorely test us now; 
barbarism on the outside, refined materialism within.” 24 

Pius XII’s warning of the forthcoming “ barbarian 
invasion ” from the East was not mere rhetoric. It was the 
colourful wrapper of a colossal promotion of religious mass 
superstition directed at fostering ideological fanaticism via the 
cult of Fatima, the miracle of the whirling sun, and the divine 
messages to the Pope direct from heaven, as the complementary 
aid to the diplomatic, political, and, above all, military activities 
which, meanwhile, had been set in operation throughout the 
West. 

The general of the American Army, on the active list, who 
had been designated ambassador to the Vatican, had been 
assigned there “ to assist co-ordinating the effort to combat the 
Communist menace,” with the efforts of the Vatican, 
“ vigorously engaged in the struggle against Communism,” as 
the explanatory statement from the White House declared, 
after announcing the appointment. 25 Mr. Kennan, the inspirer 
of gigantic American-Western rearmament and the leader of 
the “ Free Russia Committee,” had been designated American 
Ambassador to Moscow, where he went in 1952. Mr. J. F. 
Dulles, the American Ambassador-at-large and architect of the 
American-Japancse peace treaty (autumn, 1951), by which 
Japan had been converted into an American atom base to 
strike at Russia from the East, appealed to the world to speed 
up a powerful striking force “ to deter the threat of Russian 
aggression by a decisive counterstroke.” 29 

In Europe the Western German Chancellor, pious Catholic 
Dr. Adenauer, who daily recited the rosary to Our Lady of 
Fatima, went to Paris in the last week of November, 1951, and 
met another devotee of Our Lady of Fatima, Schuman, the 
French Foreign Minister and former Premier there, with the 
British Conservative Foreign Minister, Anthony Eden, and 
the American Secretary of State, Dean Acheson. Germany 
was admitted into the anti-Russian European supra-national 
Army, because “ Germany cannot be left outside the Atlantic 
family of nations,” as Adenauer declared, and must be 



52 PAPAL PROMOTION OF CONTEMPORARY RELIGIOUS 

admitted on “ an equality basis, to fight to save Christian 
civilization.” 

Almost simultaneously with the Osservatore’s official con¬ 
firmation of the Virgin’s message directed personally to the 
Pope—in the “ gravest days of the Church’s history ”—the 
appointment of the leader of the “ Free Russia Committee,” 
and the Catholic German Chancellor’s meeting with the three 
Western Foreign Ministers, a gloomy world Press—and that 
was not a miraculous coincidence—reported that the head of 
all the American and European armed forces, General Eisen¬ 
hower, had arrived in the Holy City, preceded and followed 
by the Foreign, Economic, and War Ministers of twelve 
European nations, meeting for the first time in Rome to 
organize the anti-Russian military front. The General 
informed the War Ministers of the twelve nations that they 
had met to rearm the West as fast as possible, because of the 
imminence of a new dark age and of a new “ barbaric 
invasion.” Their task: the prompt organization of an 
American-led European Army of forty fully armed fighting 
divisions by 1952, and of one hundred by 1953. 

At the same time General Omar Bradley, Chairman of the 
U.S.A. Joint Chiefs of Staff, was received in audience by the 
Holy Father, followed, shortly afterwards, by Field-Marshal 
Lord Montgomery, Deputy Supreme Commander of Allied 
Forces in Europe. 27 Although not long afterwards the 
Vatican was deprived of its First American Ambassador- 
designate, wearing the stars of a general on the active list. 
General Mark Clark having subsequently asked to be relieved 
of his ambassadorial mission (January 14, 1952), sundry Army, 
Navy and saturation-bombing Air Force leaders from Spain, 
France, England, and, above all, from the U.S.A. continued 
to be received by that devout promoter and Prince of Peace, 
His Holiness the Pope. 

While the Council of the War Ministers was sitting in the 
shadow of the Vatican walls members of the Australian Parlia¬ 
ment were asked to give a pledge of secrecy before being 
addressed by a general. The general’s secret message: “ major 
hostilities ” were going to break out soon. 28 

In that same year the U.S.A. passed the American Mutual 
Security Act, which allocated $100,000,000 for the creation of 



SUPERSTITION FOR POLITICAL PURPOSES 


53 

an army of saboteurs, spies, agents, and terrorists, composed, 
not only of anti-Communists residing in the U.S.A. and 
Europe, but “ to help any selected persons who are residing 
. . . in . .. the Soviet Union and her satellites... to form such 
persons into elements of the military forces.” This, as the 
Congressman who introduced the Act explained, in order “ to 
render aid for underground liberation movements in 
Communist countries,” starting with Russia. 28 

By 1952 uniforms, the regulation shoulder flashes of which, 
instead of being “ U.S.A.,” were, ominously enough, 
“ U.S.S.R.,” had already been issued to selected groups of 
Eastern European emigres, who could speak fluent Russian— 
of whom, significantly enough, the greatest majority were 
Catholics. 28 

Whether the growing power of Soviet Russia could justify 
the promotion of a third World War is anybody’s opinion. 
But facts, being facts, cannot be overlooked, and Vatican 
promotion of another world holocaust must be put on record. 

For the words of His Holiness, favoured by direct personal 
messages from Our Lady of Fatima, were indeed bearing their 
malignant fruit. The Vatican, claiming to be a centre of 
peace, had become a vast, sinister centre of war. The ever- 
imposing processions of generals, admirals, war ministers 
clanking their boots along its marbled corridors was the most 
damning demonstration that these individuals—professional 
war leaders—went to see another war leader, the Pope, who 
by way of a most ominous contrast had hardly received a 
single peace delegation, either from the East or from the 
West. 

The skilful amalgamation of Vatican diplomacy, of Catholic 
political forces, of the Church’s religious might, and of 
organized Catholic superstition had made of the Pope one of 
the supreme condottieri in the promotion of ideological and 
physical conflicts in the twentieth century. A further proof 
that unchartered religious superstition, astutely directed, can 
still be used to further the political goals of the Vatican and its 
allies by dragooning millions into a veritable global crusade, 
inspired by the blind emotionalism of a faith relentlessly 
conditioning its members throughout the world to war. 

The identification of Fatima with the Vatican and its 



54 PAPAL PROMOTION OF CONTEMPORARY RELIGIOUS 

calculated political exploitation of the religious fervour released 
by the new cult were made crystal-clear by the Papal delegate 
himself, when, after having told his one million listeners of 
the “ eloquent messages ” so unusually sent to Pius XII by 
heaven, concluded with the significant question-mark state¬ 
ment: “ Is this not Fatima transported to the Vatican? Is 
this not the Vatican transformed to Fatima? ” 29 

The magnitude of the unexampled dishonesty of the Vatican 
in its efforts to promote at all costs mass superstition for political 
purposes can be judged by the fact that the final proofs brought 
forward by the Pope’s paper as the undisputed seal to the 
authenticity of the Fatima miracle were jakea pictures. 

The photographs, purporting to show the sun on the 
horizon at noon—first published by the Osservatore Romano 
as of “ rigorously authentic origin ” and as providential, 
unique documentary evidence which “ had succeeded in fixing 
the exceptional scene ” (of the zigzagging sun)—had, in fact, 
been taken by an amateur photographer, one Mendoca, not in 
1917 at noon, but in 1921 “ during an atmospheric effect at 
sunset These photos were given to the Cardinal Papal 
Legate at Fatima in 1951 by Dr. Joao de Mendoca, brother 
of the amateur photographer, a member of die reception com¬ 
mittee at the Shrine of Fatima. 29 

Cardinal Tcdeschini could not resist the temptation to use 
them to kindle even further the credulity of the superstitious 
Catholic millions—as undisputed evidence that the sun truly 
fell to the horizon, zigzagging, at a midday in 1917, just as it 
had done exclusively for die Pope in 1950. The decision was 
taken by the Holy Father and the astronomically minded 
Cardinal, after they had both discussed the use that could be 
made of the photos (October 23,1951). 29 

Pope Pius XII ordered the editor of the Osservatore Romano 
to print the photos as the “ authentic documentation ” of the 
most astounding miracle of the century, which the Mother of 
God had now made his miracle by repeating her performance 
only to him. 

The pictures were published, and within a few days had 
been reprinted by newspapers and magazines around the globe. 

The decision was a matchless religious coup worthy of the 
best diplomatic coup of Pius XII, the diplomat. The 



SUPERSTITION FOR POLITICAL PURPOSES 55 

“ authentic proof ” of the Fatima miracle, by strengthening 
the credulity of millions of superstitious Catholics, automat¬ 
ically strengthened their belief in the special holiness of 
Pius XII. If the Mother of God had privileged him with such 
an astounding miracle, surely her purpose was to reiterate, and 
urge him to carry out, her mission. The message of Our Lady 
of Fatima, and the life-work of Pius XII, being identical— 
i.e. the destruction of Communism—it followed that it was 
the duty of all devout Catholics to follow the instructions of 
Pius XII, so miraculously charged by the Mother of God her¬ 
self with waging war on Bolshevism. 

The trick of the photos cannot be by-passed as another 
instance of Catholic chicanery, and ridiculed. Its real signi¬ 
ficance transcends the limited objective for which they were 
used. It demonstrated beyond doubt to what depths the 
cretinous credulity or the villainous exertions bordering on 
criminality of the master minds of the Vatican can sink in 
their attempts, by exploiting the religious emotionalism and 
superstition of hundreds of millions of Catholics, to implement 
their political designs. 

The promotion of superstition on such a colossal scale must 
not be lightly dismissed. For religious belief, although 
intangible, by channelling the blindest instincts of great masses 
of human beings, can be translated into a mighty political 
force capable of playing no mean role in the ideological war 
which has split the globe. 

This blind, ugly, invisible, and yet concrete power, wholly 
at the disposal of the Pope, by surrounding him with a super¬ 
natural aura and attributing to his office special direct divine 
commission, can not only magnify his religious status above 
all but simultaneously magnify his political power through the 
timely use of all the untapped, unreasoning religious 
emotionalism at his disposal, to further even more his spiritual 
and political influence upon the masses of the world. 

Papal pride feeds upon its own uniqueness. The Pope’s 
voice, as Pius XII declared, “ is the voice of the centuries, the 
voice of eternity.” 30 It cannot be otherwise, for the most 
obvious reason that the Popes “ hold upon this earth the place 
of God Almighty,” as Pope Leo XIII asserted in a solemn 
pontifical pronouncement, and that, consequently, all 



56 PAPAL PROMOTION OF CONTEMPORARY RELIGIOUS 

Catholics, without exception, must be prepared for “ complete 
submission and obedience of will to the Roman Pontiff, as to 
God Himself 31 

As the same Pope repeated in other official declarations, this 
is no mere rhetorical claim. The Popes regard it as a positive 
and undisputed reality. And, as a visible symbol of it, they 
wear the tiara, a unique representation made not of one but 
of three royal crowns, 32 this to indicate that they are the 
supreme rulers of the spiritual, the ecclesiastical, and the 
temporal dominions: “ Lords of the upper world, of the 
under world, and of this world.” 

No man, before or since, has ever lusted for so much. The 
mightiest rulers of antiquity, the most absolute monarchs of 
the Middle Ages, the most powerful dictators of modern times 
pale into insignificance when compared to them. 

These astonishing claims are neither formalities nor colour¬ 
ful, high-sounding titles. They are still upheld with the same 
stubbornness as ever, not in the secretive hall of the Conclave or 
in the Papal chambers, but openly and in public, in this our 
twentieth century. The authority of the present Pope rests 
upon them. He is their visible, concrete, living symbol. 
During his coronation in Rome, while the triple tiara was 
being placed on his head, he was solemnly reminded of them 
with the following words: 

Take thou the tiara adorned with the triple crown, and know that 
thou art the Father of princes and kings, and art the Governor of the 
World. 

Are these now mere ceremonial words, the corollary of the 
splendid ceremonies performed at the coronation of a con¬ 
temporary Pope? It would be the greatest mistake to think 
so. These are the very words pronounced at the coronation 
of all the Popes whose claims we have just examined; they are 
the very words which will be pronounced to the Popes by 
whom they will be followed; they are the essence of the spirit 
and of the doctrines of the Catholic Church, and, even more, 
the foundation stone of the Papacy and of the Vatican. 

Catholic diplomacy acts upon them. Papal Nuncios 
accredited to the many governments of the world must 
officially be treated above all the diplomats of all nations, even 



SUPERSTITION FOR POLITICAL PURPOSES 57 

the mightiest. No world capital will be granted a Nuncio 
unless it recognizes him as the Doyen of its Diplomatic Corps. 33 

The claims of the Popes of today must therefore be taken 
literally. For the Popes are not figureheads. They are the 
inspirers, the promoters, and executors of the policy of the 
Catholic Church. All her activities, all her exertions, all her 
political manoeuvres depend solely on him. Decrees concern¬ 
ing the religious beliefs, the moral conduct, and thus the social 
attitude of hundreds of millions everywhere emanate from 
him. The immense Catholic diplomatic machinery moves 
wholly according to his directives. He can still make and 
depose rulers, free any human being from keeping any oath, 
order millions to support or to fight any political party, absolve 
any citizen from his allegiance to the State. He has no check 
of any kind placed upon him, no restrictions whatsoever. His 
will is law. His power is boundless. All Catholics must 
obey him “ as God Himself.” He is the most absolute ruler 
in existence. The most appalling tyrannies of the twentieth 
century are mild in comparison. 

Is this exaggeration? Presently it will be proved an 
understatement. 

The Pope, it must never be forgotten, besides being the 
supreme ruler of a Church, is equally the supreme ruler of a 
political ideology emanating from the credence that as the 
unique upholder of the truth the Church’s mission is to see 
that her truth be made to prevail throughout our planet. This 
has made of Catholicism the most illiberal institution in the 
world. The man who rules it—that is to say, the Pope— 
being its executor, partakes to the full of such intolerance. 
Hence his absolutism, his religious dictatorship. 

But, in virtue of the basic law of the interdependence of 
religious problems with moral, of moral with social, of social 
with economic, and of economic with ideological issues, a reli¬ 
gious dictatorship ultimately is transformed into a political 
one. 

Papal spiritual totalitarianism, consequently, spells Papal 
political absolutism, as, whenever his spiritual decrees are made 
to reverberate in political spheres, he intervenes in the non¬ 
religious problems of contemporary society. Hence his power 
favourably or adversely to affect the welfare of individuals and 



PAPAL PROMOTION OF RELIGIOUS SUPERSTITION 


5 s 

nations, the policies of international bodies, and that most 
fundamental problem of all—the issue of peace or war. 

What is the ultimate goal of a modern Pope? Precisely and 
everlastingly the goal of all his predecessors: the domination 
of the world. 

To be sure, the demand for universal territorial domination, 
being too gross, has been modified to suit the changed times. 
Fundamentally, however, it stands as ever, unaltered, in its 
entirety. For it must be remembered that, as political control 
spells territorial mastery, so those who are striving for universal 
political control are striving for universal territorial mastery i— 
that is to say, for universal domination. 

The spiritual rulership of the Pope, therefore, ultimately 
signifies the political domination of the Catholic Church, 
obtained either via religious influence upon those who believe 
in her, via able diplomatic manoeuvring with sundry State 
Departments, or via both simultaneously. 

How is such double pressure exerted ? And, above all, how 
can it affect social and political problems, and thus the life of 
Catholics, non-Catholics, and even non-Christians in practically 
all continents ? 

That is what we shall now try to examine. And the lesson 
to be learned should be learned in dead earnest. As truly the 
conception of the world as a single Empire-Church not only 
has remained, but is the fundamental policy of the Papacy of 



5 

CATHOLIC POWER AND MODERN 
SOCIETY 


I MPONDERABLE AND UNDETECTABLE 

factors like the religious convictions of 
men are no less formidable than the 
might of armies and the industrial power of nations. They can 
still be the inspirers and, indeed, the promoters of political 
energy, unsuspected by the majority of the masses and often 
undetected even by administrations, governments or States, 
preoccupied, as they are, with the solution of pressing problems 
and the issue of peace or war. 

Yet, as war and peace, with all their cognate questions, have 
become dependent on the two main contemporary philosophies 
advocating opposing conceptions of the purpose and function 
of society, it follows that if ideologies can move the world, 
religion, by inspiring some of them, can truly greatly influence 
global politics, even if by remote control, and thus ultimately 
affect the destiny of the human race. 

Although the pressure of religious beliefs upon contemporary 
ideologies seems nil, to underestimate it because of its remote¬ 
ness from political problems is a grave error. It certainly 
would be a fatal mistake with the one operating the immense, 
efficient and ruthless machinery of the Catholic Church. 

The basic Catholic conception of how society should be run 

59 



6o 


CATHOLIC POWER AND MODERN SOCIETY 


differs widely from that of a large portion of the West, is 
unacceptable by almost three-quarters of mankind, and is 
vehemently rejected by the most revolutionary ideology of our 
times. 

Catholic exertions, therefore, having to clash with non- 
Catholic ones, are bound adversely to affect the structures upon 
which the social and political institutions of the modern State 
have been erected. 

It could not be otherwise, Catholicism’s fundamental tenets 
making of it a dynamically aggressive religion, preying with 
undiminished vigour upon the rest of the human race. Hence 
Catholic interference with non-Catholics, directed at forcing 
them to abandon their credence and to conform their precepts 
to those of the Catholic Church. 

Predatoriness sires resistance. And this, from the religious, 
assumes a social, political, and ideological character. Ideologies 
can make and destroy society. Society, however, is a complex 
organism—a combination of sundry races, nations, States, each 
made up of numberless human beings, with their own individ¬ 
uality, ideas, beliefs, and will. 

To use an ideology in order to alter or to destroy, therefore, 
the first step is to see that its principles are accepted by the 
individual, the foundation stone of all social structures. 
Ideological principles are the begetters of political systems. 
These, being inseparable from economic problems, the 
economic from social, the social from moral ones, ultimately 
can be adversely or favourably affected by religious convictions 
held by the individual and hence by the Church controlling 
such convictions. 

Thus, as religion can affect politics and as politics can affect 
society, it follows that the greater the number of individuals 
practising such religion, the heavier their pressure upon politics. 
In this fashion, the more powerful the Church, the more her 
influence upon civil matters will be, and therefore the more 
opportunity she will have to mould society according to her will. 

Hence the Catholic Church’s exertions to make a good 
Catholic of each individual, to have as many of such individ¬ 
uals, as many organizations formed by them, as many States 
made up of such organizations, and as large a society made up 
of such States, as possible. 



CATHOLIC POWER AND MODERN SOCIETY 6l 

The larger the society made up of Catholic States, the more 
powerful the pressure of the Church upon non-Catholic 
individuals, organizations, and society. 

To achieve her goal, the Catholic Church does not exert her 
pressure only from the bottom upwards—that is to say, from 
the individual to the State. She also exerts simultaneous 
pressure from the top downwards—that is to say, from the 
State to the individual. Control of the State is the more 
efficacious, the Catholic Church using it to bring pressure upon 
all individuals within it. In this manner, by exerting her 
influence via the State, she can exert it also upon society, which 
she can thus modify according to her tenets. But whether 
exerting pressure upon the State via the individual, or upon 
the individual via the State, or upon society via both, her ulti¬ 
mate aim is always the same: the maintenance, strengthening, 
and furtherance of her dominion. 

As only less than one-third of mankind is Christian, and only 
about half of these Catholic, and, furthermore, as only a limited 
number of Catholics are thoroughly devout, the Catholic 
Church is faced with a gigantic task. This is being made 
increasingly difficult by the ever-widening chasm between her 
tenets and those of a society often actively hostile to them. 

Although not all her principles are antagonistic to modern 
society, yet many are, and it is these that compel her to interfere 
with issues which, in the eyes of the State, should be dealt 
with only by the State, thus provoking Church-State clashes. 

Such clashes are not merely theoretical: they trespass into 
concrete reality and promote conflicts which sometimes remain 
purely academic but which, more often than not, develop into 
bitter struggles. 

The Catholic Church boldly enters fields pertaining to the 
State, with the result that she is frequently bound to oppose, 
boycott, and even openly fight regulations or laws which she 
considers to be contrary to her own. 

To have such laws repealed, modified, or harmonized with 
her own she will unhesitatingly wage battle. The instruments 
with which she will wage it will be her members, who, being 
duty-bound to obey her injunctions, will thus become auto¬ 
matically hostile to the State. 

When her rulings are limited to religious matters—e.g. when 



62 


CATHOLIC POWER AND MODERN SOCIETY 


Catholics arc forbidden to congregate with Protestants in 
religious ceremonies—then her interference, although objec¬ 
tionable, is strictly confined. 

When, however, she steps further and intervenes, say, in 
moral issues, then the results can become grave. The Catholic 
Church is specific about it. “ It is our own strict duty,” said 
Pope Pius X, “ to direct all men, without exception ”—note, all 
men, including Protestants and non-Christians—“ according to 
the rules and standards of morality in private and in public 
life.” 1 

A striking moral problem: marriage. 

Marriage was instituted by society, declares the State. Con¬ 
sequently, it is the State’s right to make and unmake marriages 
according to its laws. 

Marriage was instituted by God, asserts the Catholic Church. 
Hence the State has no right either to bind or even less to 
dissolve marriage. For “ marriage is holy of its own power, 
in its own nature, and of itself, and it ought not to be regulated 
and administered by the will of civil rulers.” 2 

Consequently, marriage, according to the Catholic Church, 
is not a civil contract, but a totally religious institution. Indeed, 
more than an institution, it is “ a sacrament,” and, to regulate 
a sacrament is “ by the will of Christ Himself so much a part 
of the power and duty of the Church that it is plainly absurd 
to maintain that even the smallest fraction of such power has 
been transferred to the civil ruler.” 3 

Faced by such an inflexible assertion some modern States, 
in their efforts to compromise, ruled that citizens could elect 
for either a religious or a civil ceremony—or, indeed, for 
both. 

Citizens cannot choose, declares the Catholic Church. The 
State is wrong. Marriage is not “ subject to human decrees or 
to any contrary pact, even of the spouses themselves,” the 
nature of matrimony being “ entirely independent of the free 
will of man .” 3 

The pseudo-distinction made by modern lawyers to the effect 
that matrimony as a sacrament is the business of the Church, 
whereas matrimony as a contract is the business of the State 
should not deceive anybody, she further asserts. For “ in 
Christian marriage the contract is inseparable from the sacra- 



CATHOLIC POWER AND MODERN SOCIETY 63 

ment . . . marriage being the contract itself, whenever that 
contract is lawfully concluded.” 

Catholic citizens, therefore, are forbidden to choose civil 
marriage, the State having no authority whatsoever to legalize 
it, in so far as “ the State cannot, and should not, devise a mar¬ 
riage system that is estranged from the Christian religion.” * 

Owing to this, Catholics cannot marry at a Registry Office 
alone, widiout committing a grave sin; and to marry before a 
non-Catholic minister brings them excommunication. 

If the State cannot bind, then it cannot loosen either. This 
because “ marriage is divinely instituted,” declares the Catholic 
Church, and “ therefore cannot be dissolved by any civil 
laws.” 5 In other words, the Church insists that the State has 
no power to grant divorce. Reason? Above every State 
“ stands tire unalterable Law of God ... a Law can never be 
deprived of its force by the decrees of men, the ideas of a 
people, or the will of any Legislator .” 6 

With this statement the Catholic Church affirms that her 
Laws are above those of the State, and that Catholics must 
obey, not the State, but her. 

Acting upon such a principle, the Catholic Church has made 
her own laws on marriage, irrespective of whether these 
accord with those of the State or not, priding herself on her 
defiance of civil authority, as “ in so doing the Church follows 
the example of Christ and St. Paul, who never asked the 
permission of either Caesar or Tiberius to enact laws covering 
marriage . . . however much it might seem to be at variance 
with the laws of the State.” 6 

Catholic citizens, therefore, by being forced to accept the 
tenet that marriage lasts for life and is indissoluble, cannot 
divorce. Hence no State can grant divorce. This condemna¬ 
tion, it must be remembered, does not refer only to religious 
matrimony, but, as Pius XI declared, “ to every kind of 
marriage,” whether of a natural, civil, or religious nature, 6 
everywhere, and this on the ground, it must be remembered, 
that Catholic moral teaching—and Catholic legislation inspired 
by it—is part of the natural law, and therefore is applicable to 
all men. 

Catholic opposition to divorce and the prevalent moral decay 
of contemporary society in the eyes of many seems, at first, to 



64 CATHOLIC POWER AND MODERN SOCIETY 

be justified. Protestant Churches, not so long ago, and several 
even now, agreed with the Catholic attitude. 

Yet even its most rabid Protestant opponents sometimes 
admitted divorce. A Bill introduced in the eighteenth century 
(1721), during the Church of England discussion on marriage, 
besides throwing a curious light upon the moral code of that 
period, confirms this. The Bill forbade 

any woman to impose upon, seduce or betray into matrimony any of 
His Majesty’s subjects by means of scents, paints, cosmetics, washes, 
artificial teeth, false hair, Spanish wool, iron stays, high-heeled shoes, or 
bolstered hips 

—any marriage to be so contrived was to be null and void. 

This is a far cry from the modern wife who gained a divorce 
on the ground that her spouse obstinately refused to switch off 
the light in their bedroom whenever it was his turn to do so. 

That loose divorce laws and the “ divorce mills ” have made 
of marriage a farce there is no doubt. That divorce is no 
longer granted as the ultimate solution to genuine marital 
problems its growing rate proves, and the reasons why it is 
generally granted amply testify. Its increase everywhere seems 
indeed disproportionate to the possible concrete reasons com¬ 
pelling married couples to part. In England and Wales, for 
instance, the divorce rate stood at an almost stationary 600 
per year from 1900 to 19x3, but then rose to 5,000 a year in 
1937, and thereafter “ multiplied by ten in ten years.” 7 In 
Sweden it has increased by 1,000 per cent in the past half- 
century. In the United States the average divorces per 100 
marriages were 5'56 during 1881-90 and 25'89 in 1940-49, 
representing an increase of 466 per cent. The increase in 
divorce since pre-First World War years in England and 
Wales, 3,867 per cent; in Scotland, 691 per cent; in Belgium, 
301 per cent; in Sweden, 481 per cent; in the Netherlands, 
378 per cent; in New Zealand, 489 per cent; in Denmark, 
391 per cent; in France, 225 per cent; in Switzerland, 108 per 
cent; in U.S.A., 221 per cent; while Japan, for which the 
figures were incomplete, the only “ pagan ” country involved, 
was the only land with less divorce, and there the decrease was 
only 7 per cent. 

Immorality has kept pace with the loosening of marriage. 



CATHOLIC POWER AND MODERN SOCIETY 


65 

In two-thirds-Protestant Germany 89 per cent of men and 
70 per cent of women had sexual relations before marriage. 8 
In a wholly nominal Protestant nation, the U.S.A., over 73 per 
cent of men have pre-marital intercourse by the time they are 
twenty. 9 Before the First World War 12 per cent of American 
women were not virgins at marriage. By 1932-7 the figure 
had jumped to 68 per cent 10 and by 1952 to 82 per cent. This 
without accounting for sexual crimes—for instance, rape takes 
place every forty-five minutes, all the year round, somewhere 
in the U.S.A. 

This extraordinary moral breakdown is caused mainly by 
divorce laws, says the Catholic Church. For widespread 
divorce is morally harmful, not only to the two divorcees, but 
also to their children, causing a slow moral deterioration all 
around them. 

This is true, but only partly so. Immorality is even more 
prevalent in Catholic countries. France, for instance, had 
nothing for which to envy America. In Paris alone, before 
the Second World War, there were 20,000 prostitutes. By 
1952 they had jumped to 100,000. In super-Catholic Franco’s 
Spain “ prostitution has become entrenched as a permanent 
institution,” 11 in Madrid there being at least twenty-five well- 
known, government-approved brothels and a greater number 
in Barcelona. In Italy prostitution is controlled by the State, 
which makes good revenue out of it—certainly no recom¬ 
mendation for the super-Catholic Government of the Christian 
Democrats, who ruled that country for so many years. In 
the very seat of the Papacy there can be found literally 
hundreds of brothels, big and small, in the shadows of the 
hundreds of Roman churches. In Brazil, another country 
where divorce is taboo, over ninety per cent of the population 
has, or has had, venereal disease. 

The exploitation of divorce by countries which approve of 
it, and the failure of Catholic divorceless countries to have a 
better moral standard than those in which divorce is permitted, 
although important factors, cannot be used as standards for or 
against it. The principle that divorce, as approved by modern 
society, is fair cannot be denied on the ground that it has 
turned into a social plague. If her opposition were based only 
upon this the Catholic Church would not, even then, be 



66 


CATHOLIC POWER AND MODERN SOCIETY 


justified in prohibiting divorce as she does. Her opposition, 
however, is based upon really objectionable ground—namely, 
that divorce must not be granted simply because she has so 
decreed. 

Her stubborn refusal to accept divorce is based precisely on 
such an incredibly arrogant claim, upon which she has erected 
another, no less incredible—i.e. that for this same reason her 
decision must be accepted by all as the final judgment, regard¬ 
less of whether or not individuals and society agree with her. 

The gravity of her claims is further enhanced when it is 
remembered that she forbids divorce not only for Catholics, 
but also for Protestants, agnostics, non-Christians—in fact, for 
all. And wherever she has the power she never hesitates to 
enforce her prohibition—for instance, by compelling a State 
indiscriminately to prohibit divorce within its borders, whether 
its citizens are Catholics or not, thus curtailing the freedom 
of Catholics and non-Catholics alike. 

In certain lands, non-Catholics who approve of divorce can¬ 
not divorce because of the veto of the Catholic Church. There 
Catholics must in blind obedience exert a genuine tyranny of 
numbers or influence over a minority—and, at times, even over 
a majority—to enforce their Church’s ban. They are duty- 
bound to fight divorce, which, in many cases, they do with 
success. Which means that, wherever their will prevails there 
Catholic principles against divorce also prevail and are 
embodied in the laws of the State. Hence divorceless lands 
such as those of Colombia, the Argentine, and Italy under 
Fascism or under the Catholic Christian Democrats after the 
Second World War. Whenever attempts are made to intro¬ 
duce divorce the Catholic Church promotes a formidable 
religious-political opposition against anyone advocating it. 

A striking illustration was that of Brazil, a country of whose 
population ninety-five per cent is Catholic, and with a Con¬ 
stitution making legal marriage an indissoluble contract. 
Repeated attempts to modify the Constitution, so as to intro¬ 
duce divorce, in 1946, 1947, 1949, 1951, and 1952, most of 
them in the Brazilian Congress, were invariably defeated by 
Catholic opposition, inspired and promoted by the Catholic 
Church. 12 

Such opposition is promoted with equal ferocity in Protestant 



CATHOLIC POWER AND MODERN SOCIETY 6 j 

countries. Very often it amounts to nothing. Sometimes, 
however, it can have its own way. In Canada, for instance, 
divorce is legal on grounds of adultery, desertion, and so on— 
except in one single Canadian province, Quebec, where it is 
not. Canadian legislators, pressing to have divorce courts set 
up in Quebec, were invariably opposed by the Catholic Church, 
not only boldly branding divorce as “ this plague ” but also 
“ condemning all legislation which would tend to weaken the 
indissolubility of the matrimonial contract,” as the bishops of 
Quebec Province put it (July, 1947)5 and repeatedly defeating 
the Protestant attempts to break the Catholic monopoly. 

Catholicism is no less ferocious in non-Christian lands. In 
1951 a Bill, called the Personal Status Bill, was put before the 
Egyptian House of Deputies with a view to legalizing divorce. 
Catholic opposition was immediately mobilized throughout the 
country. The Egyptian bishops sent irate telegrams to King 
Farouk, to the Premier, and to others protesting against the 
Bill, which proposed “ to place marriage cases under civil 
instead of ecclesiastical jurisdiction,” saying that they could 
not submit to a law which would “ so grievously offend their 
conscience.” Thereupon the Catholic Consultative Committee 
of Egypt announced that the Church would use every legiti¬ 
mate means “ to prevent its passage,” to oppose individuals or 
parties supporting the Bill, and to mobilize all Catholics to 
ensure its final defeat. 

Catholic opposition to divorce can thus be mobilized and, 
indeed, is perennially on the alert everywhere. Result: it is 
felt wherever there are Catholics—namely, throughout the 
world. 


The Catholic Church does not confine herself to moral 
issues. She claims to be an authority on social problems— 
e.g. education, where, during the scholastic year 1952-3, she 
was running over 90,000 Catholic colleges, with more than 
15,000,000 students, throughout the world. 1 * 

Potential citizens are first made in the schools. Hence the 
modern State’s primary concern that these should impart 
education in conformity with its tenets. 

That is the concern of the Catholic Church, the Popes whose 



CATHOLIC POWER AND MODERN SOCIETY 


C8 

bitterest grievance is that they have been deprived of their 
former educational monopoly, boldly assert. The Church, 
being free from error, knows what kind of education is good 
and what kind is bad. Her duty is to teach the truth, whether 
the State likes it or not. 

If the State conforms with her wishes, well and good. If 
not, parents “ must keep their children away from schools in 
which they risk losing their Catholic faith ” w —for instance, 
those run by the State. Should they avoid such an obligation, 
they court eternal damnation. 

Canon Law 2391 is very explicit about it: 

Catholics are subject to excommunication, incurred automatically and 
reserved to the local bishop, who, when they are married, make a 
specific or implied agreement to educate all or any of their children 
outside the Catholic Church. 

To avoid hell, consequently, Catholics must “ strain every 
nerve ” to fight any attacks, from whatever quarter they may 
come, whenever they fear that teaching is not in complete 
harmony with that of the Catholic Church. 15 

In most nations education is in the hands of the State. 
Cadiolics, therefore, must oppose the State, which has no right 
to monopolize the education of its youth, for such a right 
belongs only to the Church. “ A State monopoly of education 
... is unjust and unlawful.” 16 

Catholics must fight the State even if die State is neutral on 
religious issues, for instance, in countries like the U.S.A., 
France, or Czechoslovakia, where there is a separation of 
Church and State. Here again the Pope is very explicit: 
“ Any training of the young which neglects or repudiates the 
feeling and the spirit of the Christian religion is a crime of 
high treason.” 17 

Neither can Catholics send their children to mixed schools. 
This according to Canon 1374: 

Catholic children must not attend non-Catholic, neutral or mixed 
schools, that is, such as are also open to non-Catholics. It is for the 
bishop of the place alone to decide . . . with what precautions attendance 
at such schools may be tolerated, without danger of perversion to the 
pupils. 

Catholic claims embrace all fields: 



CATHOLIC POWER AND MODERN SOCIETY 69 

The Church’s inalienable right ... is to watch over the entire educa¬ 
tion of her children . .. 

Pope Leo XIII decreed. 

Hence schools cannot deal with subjects disapproved of 
by the Church—e.g. sex education. Should they do so, 
“ Catholics must withdraw their children from any school 
whatsoever which gives sex instruction.” Or, “ arrangements 
must be made ... to dismiss children of Catholic parents before 
sex instruction begins.” 18 

Proposals to teach sex in schools created “horror and con¬ 
sternation ” among Catholics in Britain, 19 the cause of the 
“ prevalence of sexual vice among school children ” being 
attributed by Catholics to such instruction, 19 and the fact that 
50,000 babies were born illegitimately to girls of High School 
age in the U.S.A. within one single year (1947) being brought 
forward as a case in point. 20 

Besides this, “ children should . . . not be allowed . . . 
exclusive primacy of initiative ” declares the Church, 21 but 
should be taught to obey, first and last. Otherwise they might 
turn into rebels. The one million American juveniles annually 
arrested in the States should be a pointer that such Catholic 
principles are right. To avoid these and worse evils, Catholics 
should not only boycott State, neutral, or mixed schools, but 
run their own. 

What is a Catholic school? A Catholic school, to quote the 
Pope, is a place where “ all the teaching and the whole 
organization of the school, its teachers, syllabus, text-books of 
every kind, are regulated by the Catholic spirit, under the 
direction and supervision of the Church.” 22 A typical 
example: Spanish schools under Catholic Franco, in which 
youth was taught that Liberalism is a grave sin and that 
liberty of conscience, freedom of the Press, and sundry 
other democratic principles are “ grave and pernicious 
errors.” 23 

Catholics must battle against anyone not conforming to the 
Catholic educational dicta. When so engaged they will be 
doing “ a genuinely religious work ... a religious enterprise 
demanded by conscience.” 24 

Following such injunctions, Catholics in Europe, the 
Americas, Asia, and Africa have been waging a continuous 



yC) CATHOLIC TOWER AND MODERN SOCIETY 

war against their own governments on this issue. Generally 
speaking, their fight is carried out: (a) by direct political 
opposition; (b) by boycott of State education; and (c) by the 
setting up of independent Catholic schools. 

In many countries where the State provides excellent, up-to- 
date, and free education Catholics have stubbornly refused to 
send their children to the State schools—e.g. in France, the 
U.S.A., Belgium, Holland. In England Catholics set up 1,900 
educational establishments of their own, agitating, with a view 
to forcing the State—a Protestant State, it should be noted— 
to finance their schools, run exclusively by their Church,*"’ 
threatening English Catholics with stern religious punishments 
for ignoring “authoritative advice” by sending their children 
to non-Catholic schools, brazenly banning attendance at State 
schools to the under-thirteens, and even asking all Catholic 
priests to act as a spiritual Gestapo by reporting any Catholic 
parents disregarding such advice. 28 

In the U.S.A. Catholic versus State schools has become a 
major religious-social issue, with wide political implications 
affecting the very American Constitution. In Hungary, after 
the schools were nationalized, Catholics agitated and the 
hierarchy, by making direct appeals to parents, created social 
and political unrest of a most serious character, while Cardinal 
Mindszenty condemned the official text-books, calling schools 
with no religious instruction ” die “ haunts of crime.” ** 

Catholic intractability very often creates no mean educational 
or finan cial disruptions. The American Office of Education, 
for instance, estimated that nearly nine in ten American 
children attending the country’s non-State schools were in 
Catholic ones. Which meant that almost three million 
American children were boycotting the State-run educational 
establishments. 28 

This cost American Catholics $166,000,000, and English 
parents over ^50,000,000, without counting similar sums dis¬ 
bursed by the American and British Governments. 

To get their own way Catholics will use all forms of 
agitation or boycott. This can be promoted by the Pope 
himself—e.g. Pius XII, telling Catholics that tax money 
collected from all the people must be paid out for the support 
of Catholic schools. 20 Or it can take the form of an attack by 



CATHOLIC POWER AND MODERN SOCIETY 7I 

Catholic educators, like that launched upon a New York City 
teacher-training pamphlet, put out by the Board of Education, 
on the ground that it was “ critical of the philosophy of their 
Church,” and that “ the philosophical theories endorsed in the 
bulletin by and large amount to atheism, since they hold that 
science and human experience are ... in the [sic] final analysis 
the supreme judge of what is good or evil in society.” 30 It can 
be screened by demands for special treatment, as in England, 
where, although Catholics form only five per cent of the active 
population, yet they asked that the Government provide their 
children with Catholic schools, financed by the Protestant tax¬ 
payers. Or it can assume the form of a brazen Catholic educa¬ 
tional monopoly over the schools of a whole nation—e.g. in 
Italy under the Christian Democrats, where the Minister of 
Education was the former editor of the Papal organ 
Osservatore Romano, a fanatical member of Catholic Action, 
and Secretary-General of the Christian Democrat Party; 31 the 
equivalent of such Catholic domination being as if Cardinal 
Spellman in the U.S.A. or Cardinal Mindszenty in Hungary 
or the English Head of the Catholic hierarchy should, with 
Cabinet rank, be permitted absolute control of the whole 
American, Hungarian, or English educational structure. 

Catholics will use all kinds of private and public pressure 
to force their will upon any reluctant government in Pro¬ 
testant, Catholic, and even .non-Christian countries. In India, 
where Archbishop Mar Ivanios, after having issued a public 
protest against the educational plan of the Indian State of 
Travancore-Cochin, threatened the Government with civil 
disobedience and mobilized Indian Catholics against certain 
politicians favouring the plan, promoting serious sectional and 
political unrest, ending in the riots of Neendakara, where the 
Hindu Prime Minister of Travancore-Cochin had to intervene 
in person, after requesting Nehru, India’s Prime Minister, to 
settle the disorders. 32 

Or in England, where English Catholics during the general 
elections of 1950 were told by the hierarchy to “ find out 
candidates’ views on education ” before voting for them. 
“ Press our claims to the candidates at the forthcoming 
elections,” they were told by Cardinal Griffin, Archbishop of 
Westminster. “We want them to tell us their views [on 



CATHOLIC POWER AND MODERN SOCIETY 


7 2 

Catholic schools] without evasion. When you have heard 
their answers, then use your vote.” 33 

They will not hesitate to resort to the most unworthy tricks, 
like that sprung upon the French Chamber of Deputies. In 
1951, after Catholic agitation for a State grant to Catholic 
schools had been repeatedly defeated, Catholic members made 
use of an unheard-of ruse. Biding their time, one day they 
unexpectedly put a motion granting financial help to Catholic 
schools. The motion was put forward during a Parliamentary 
night debate on the Budget, when only twenty members were 
present, and went through with a majority of two votes 
(June, 1951). The passing of the Bill aroused a storm through¬ 
out France, which had maintained a strict Church-State 
separation since the beginning of the century. The French 
hierarchy defended the legality of the Bill, mobilized in its 
defence, and, besides a furious campaign, openly resorted to 
political blackmail, threatening any politicians who did not 
support them with Catholic party and individual boycott in 
the forthcoming general election—e.g. Cardinal Lienart, 
Bishop of Lille. In various parts of France they went so far 
as to organize the Catholic electorate in a campaign of non¬ 
payment of taxes—e.g. in Western France. Such Catholic 
intransigence, plus the Catholic “ trick vote ” in the Chamber, 
finally caused the French Government to fall. The seriousness 
of the crisis can be gauged by the fact that for many weeks it 
became impossible to form a new Government owing to 
Catholic intractability. Four French ex-Premiers—one of 
them twice-tried, week after week, to form one without 
success, 34 with the result that the nation, during a most critical 
domestic and international period, remained without a ruling 
body for well over a month—a record gap, even for France 
(July, 1951). . 

Similar crises occurred in Holland. And in Belgium, in 
1948, the Government was brought down on the same issue. 

The educational problem, consequently, being paramount 
in most countries, can be and very frequently is transformed 
into a most powerful lever at the disposal of a Church which 
has never hesitated to use it as a means to exert an ever-present, 
relentless pressure, to enhance, further, and promote her short- 
and long-range strategy of penetration into a field which she 



CATHOLIC POWER AND MODERN SOCIETY 73 

is determined to rule as the sole, undisputed, and ultimate 
authority. 


The claims of the Church to speak as an authority are not 
confined to morals or education, but embrace economic systems 
and cognate problems. 

In our world this can assume tremendous importance. 
For ever a fundamental authoritative generalization upon 
economics can influence the economic thinking of millions. 

Catholicism is a staunch defender of private property. Pius 
XII was explicit: 

Economy is not by its nature a State institution [he said], it is on the 
contrary the living product of the free initiative. ... It is the mission, 
in fact, of public law to serve private interests, and not to absorb them . 35 

As the advocate of private property, consequently, it not 
only rejects Marxism as an economic system, but it has 
mobilized itself as the main defender of the by-product of the 
concept of private property—namely, of Capitalism—and hence 
of a society based upon its structures. Attempts within the 
rank and file of Catholics to find a compromise between the 
two on purely economic grounds, by the adoption of a joint 
management of workers and employers, finds no sympathy 
with the Church, although at times, for tactical reasons, she 
has permitted and even encouraged them. The Church’s 
attitude on this is clear. Workers must not fall into the error 
of taking away the disposition of the means of production 
from the personal responsibility of a private proprietor in order 
to place it under an anonymous and collective responsibility. 
For “Trade Union demands for joint management of 
business,” Pius XII warned, “ are outside the range of possi¬ 
bilities.” 36 

Moral and economic problems ultimately turn into political 
ones. Hence, when Catholics oppose a divorce Bill or educa¬ 
tional issues, make a government fall, or are directed to 
support private property instead of nationalization, then they 
are automatically being used as political instruments by their 
Church, acting as a political power. 

The Catholic Church, however, does not act in such a 



CATHOLIC POWER AND MODERN SOCIETY 


74 

manner by indirect approach. She claims to be a political 
authority in her own right, boldly intervening in the political 
arena of many lands. This on the grounds that she “ must 
not confine herself to purely religious matters,” but, “ as there 
is by force of circumstances reciprocal interpenetration of the 
sphere of political and religious action,” she “ has a close duty 
to keep a watch on political affairs,” as Pius XII pointed out 
to the delegates of the World Congress of the Lay Apostolate, 
convened in Rome in 1951, from seventy-four countries. 37 

Following this, it becomes imperative for all Catholics to 
intervene in politics, as “it would be blameworthy to leave 
the field open to people who are unworthy or incapable of 
directing affairs of State.” 37 

Catholics, however, must not only follow the general political 
principles of their Church. They must obey also the specific 
political directives of the Popes. For, as Pius X put it, “it is 
our strict duty to direct all men without exception ... in the 
social order and in the political order; and thus to direct not 
only the governed, but rulers as well.” 38 

Such injunctions might have left the slumber of the faithful 
not in communion with Rome wholly undisturbed, although 
non-Catholic Christians had similar troubles, nightmares pro¬ 
voked by the political wrath of non-Catholic Churches being, 
in fact, by no means a rarity. Protestantism and Orthodoxy 
had ammunition of their own, some of which proved to be 
far more imaginative than its papal equivalent. For example, 
that of the Orthodox Church of Greece, which in 1916, after 
having cursed a Greek statesman, Venezelos, for having 
“ betrayed the nation to the Anglo-French,” forbade all Greeks 
to vote for him. The Orthodox injunction, in addition to its 
robust homeric ring, had colour and, above all, could be 
understood without any serious error of judgment even by 
the most subtle specimen of contemporary diplomacy: 


Therefore, against the traitor [Venezelos] [the Church begins] wc 
have invoked the following injuries: the ulcers of Job; the whale of 
Jonah; the leprosy of Naaman; the bite of Death; the shuddering of the 
dying; the thunderbolt of Hell; and the maledictions of God and man. 
We shall call for the same injuries upon those who, at the forthcoming 
elections, shall vote for the traitor Venezelos, and further pray for their 
hands to wither and for them to become deaf and blind. Amen. s * 



CATHOLIC POWER AND MODERN SOCIETY 


75 

Venezelos died of venerable old age, with excellent sight 
and hearing, although with fewer electoral victories to his 
credit than if the political equivalent of the “ ulcers of Job ” 
had not afflicted him, thanks to the Orthodox Church. 

The injunctions of the Popes, although less spectacular, can 
bring results which, if not as picturesque as the Biblical 
“injuries,” nonetheless are concrete enough to produce the 
most serious injuries to the political liberties of contemporary 
democracies. Unlike the Orthodox threatened “ injuries,” in 
our shaky political world, the Catholic Church has threatened 
nothing less than eternal hell to any Catholic absent-mindedly 
voting for the wrong politician, simply by accusing him of 
“ mortal sin.” 

“ Mortal sin ” to millions of Catholics is as much a reality 
as are supersonic flight, television, and nuclear energy to 
millions of non-Catholics. Hence, when their Church 
threatens them with it a tremendous pressure is exerted upon 
their religious credence, which is thus automatically trans¬ 
formed into political pressure affecting the political balance of 
whole nations. 

Under a Catholic dictatorship, no such extreme form of 
pressure is needed. A warning suffices: 

The Church exercises her moral duty in recalling the grave responsi¬ 
bility attached to the vote. 

wrote the Spanish Primate in a pastoral letter urging all 
Spaniards to vote for Franco’s referendum for his succession 
laws of 1947. 

In a democratic country, where citizens have their choice, 
however, the Church is very adamant about it. In Italy, for 
instance, on Sunday, May 20, 1951, the Catholic hierarchy 
posted orders in their churches telling Catholics that (a) every 
elector had a strict obligation to vote, ( b ) all electors must vote 
for those caring for the Catholic Church, and (c) that any 
elector voting for parties hostile to the Church would commit 
mortal sin, while any voting for the Communists would pur¬ 
chase for themselves eternal damnation. After which they— 
e.g. Cardinal Schuster of Milan—organized special services in 
every parish, for three whole days asking God to induce 
Italians to vote exclusively for the Catholic Party. Catholic 



CATHOLIC POWER AND MODERN SOCIETY 


76 

terrorization went further. It followed the Italian voter into 
the very polling booth. The Catholic Party, inspired by the 
Church prior to the elections, plastered Italian walls with one 
of their characteristic posters, with the following inscription: 

In the secrecy of the polling booth, God can see you—Stalin can’t! 

The religious blackmail of such a slogan may have left the 
intellectuals and workers of the North immune: but it had 
a powerful effect upon the ignorant, superstitious masses of 
the South. 

Similarly, in France, also in 1951, during the general 
elections, almost all French bishops issued pastoral letters call¬ 
ing on Frenchmen to vote only for candidates favouring the 
Catholic Church, warning them that to vote was their 
“ inescapable duty,” while its avoidance was “ a most grievous 
sin.” 

In Belgium, in a Joint Pastoral Letter of the Belgian 
hierarchy, read in all churches on May 21, 1950, prior to the 
elections, the hierarchy urged “ all Catholics ” to vote only 
for candidates “ whose programme takes account of the rights 
of the Catholic Church.” 

Political directives are given with equal boldness in 
Protestant countries. 

In a Joint Letter of the Archbishops and Bishops of Scotland, 
for instance, which was read in all Catholic churches during 
Mass on February 12, 1950, just before the general election, 
the hierarchy stated that “No one may vote for parties or 
candidates opposed to the teaching of God and His Church.” 

In England Catholic bishops openly urged voters against 
certain candidates, and their injunctions were read in all 
Catholic churches. 

We must make sure that our votes are given for candidates who can 
be relied upon to fight for our God-given rights. ... I ask Catholics to 
remember that a vote cannot be cast for Communists and fellow- 
travellers, under the pain of mortal sin . 40 

In the general election of 1951, they stated simply that “ a 
vote for a Communist candidate is a vote against God.” 41 

Similar injunctions, prior to local and general elections, 
were given in many other countries, whether Catholic, 



CATHOLIC POWER AND MODERN SOCIETY 


77 

Protestant, Moslem, Hindu, or Buddhist. For instance, in 
Egypt, Nigeria, South Africa, Java, Malaya, Indio-China, at 
times taking the form of prohibition of voters to support the 
political parties disapproved of by the Church by charging 
them with materialism or atheism, as they did during the 
general elections of 1952 in India, when the Catholic hierarchy 
called for special prayers to have those “ who deny the spiritual 
aspect of life ” defeated, such candidates being utterly unfit 
“ to lead a country.” “ For this reason,” the bishops declared, 
“ you shall not give your votes to atheists and materialists,” 
meaning the parties of the Left. 

The bishops of the Philippines, during the elections in 
November, 1951, told Philippino voters that “ to sell your vote 
is sinful, to use it to put evil men into power is gravely wrong, 
to refrain from voting will make you answerable before God. 42 

The brazen exploitation of the religious convictions of 
Catholics for purely political purposes throughout the world, 
to make them vote for or against a given political party, is not 
the unethical, independent practice of certain Catholic 
hierarchies. It is the precise, calculated, political strategy 
conceived and promoted by the Pope himself. 

In 1948 Pius XII, after having told electors that it was their 
inescapable duty to vote only for “ those candidates who offer 
truly adequate guarantees for the protection of the rights of 
God,” asserted in the most categorical manner that to vote for 
the enemies of the Church—or, indeed, to abstain from voting 
—is a mortal sin . . . una colpa mortale . 13 

The Consistorial Congregation followed suit with a formal 
warning in the same sense, and immediately all cardinals in 
Italy, including those of the Vatican, came out with no less 
explicit statements of their own, promptly imitated by those 
in other countries, as we have already seen. 

To strengthen this practice the following year the Church 
issued a solemn decree forbidding Catholics the world over to 
support, vote for, or belong to the Communist Party or to 
political Parties sympathizing with Communism, under pain 
of being ipso facto excommunicated. 44 

To exert even more pressure the Pope went further, and not 
long afterwards he excommunicated all children belonging to 
Communist or Left-Wing youth organizations. 45 



CATHOLIC POWER AND MODERN SOCIETY 


78 

To believe that the Catholic Church has had recourse to 
exceptional measures to combat an exceptionally perilous 
enemy—namely, Communism—and that, consequently, her 
unscrupulous use of religious terror for political ends is justifi¬ 
able, is to commit a most serious error. 

The use of religious pressure to achieve political purposes is 
not exceptional. It has been the standard practice of the 
Catholic Church for over fifteen hundred years. The pages of 
the dark Middle Ages are brimful with examples. To her 
religious and political terror in those times the Church invari¬ 
ably added physical terrorization—e.g. interdict, when not 
even the dead were permitted to be buried, with the result, on 
many occasions, that these, having become a source of infec¬ 
tion, eventually provoked plagues which exterminated entire 
populations. 

Not so long ago she employed against Liberalism the same 
kind of religious pressure which she now uses against Com¬ 
munism—e.g. in the last century, when Catholics were repeat¬ 
edly warned that to vote Liberal was to commit a mortal sin 
and would ipso facto bring excommunication. In Italy, for 
instance, Catholics were forbidden to vote in local or national 
elections or to stand either for local councils or for Parliament, 
from 1870 until 1914. This as a retaliation against the 
Liberal Government, which had sponsored the Separation of 
Church and State, advocated equality of religion and secular 
education, not to mention its refusal to hand back the Papal 
States to the Pope. 

After the First World War the Church reversed such a 
policy, and compelled Italian Catholics to form a Catholic 
Party, in order to check the progress of the Left. When 
Fascism appeared and bludgeoned its way to power the 
Vatican changed once more and ordered the Catholics to 
disband, so as not to embarrass the new Fascist regime. 

After the Second World War, with the tumbling of Nazism 
the Vatican commanded European Catholics to regroup, with 
the result that within a few years they came to control the 
political destiny of the Continent, as we shall presently see. 
When even this, after six or seven years, began to crack under 
the weight of its too obviously retrograde policy, the Vatican 
sponsored the resurgent neo-Fascist underground forces—e.g. 



CATHOLIC POWER AND MODERN SOCIETY 79 

via Italian Catholic Action, which, on orders from the Vatican, 
grouped together under the description of National Front all 
the neo-Fascist movements, most of them supported by 
members of the Catholic Party, the Christian Democrats, who 
until then had attempted to come to the fore without success, 
owing to their lack of co-ordination. 46 

Such mass dragooning of the Catholic vote and of Catholic 
forces, with its cumulative effect, can and does alter the scale 
of the domestic and international life of many nations—for 
this mass mobilization, it must be remembered, is world-wide. 
Similar instructions were given in Holland, Germany, prac¬ 
tically all South American Republics, Canada, and, although 
with great discretion, U.S.A., Egypt, Nigeria, India, me 
Philippines, and many Asiatic countries. 

The result is that, although Catholic political directives do 
not always yield what the Church expects, yet they contribute 
either to the strengthening or to the weakening of non- 
Catholic political parties, and not infrequently to their victory 
or defeat, sending into power men, political movements, and 
coalitions closely associated with the Catholic Church, or, 
indeed, blatantly acting as her political tools. 

When that occurs, Catholic influence is made to impregnate 
the structure of a whole nation, whether the people like it or 
not. 

Thus, whereas a government sent to power with the backing 
of the Church can, for instance, pledge in open Parliament its 
loyalty to the Catholic Church, as did the Malta Government 
in 1947, powerful coalitions, to ensure Catholic support, will 
openly pledge themselves to vote for the granting of financial 
aid for the Catholic schools, as did 309 members of Parliament 
in the French Assembly in June, 1951. 

One Prime Minister can officially state that Catholicism “ is 
our moral code and our guide in all our social relations,” as 
did Italy’s Premier, De Gasperi, 47 and another that “ it is my 
hope to rebuild Germany on a foundation of Truth and 
Catholic Ideals,” as Dr. Adenauer, Chancellor of Western 
Germany, declared in 1951. 

All this will yield the far-reaching furtherance of Catholic 
tenets in the life of the countries led by either Catholic indivi¬ 
duals or Catholic parties. In connexion with internal problems, 
D 



CATHOLIC POWER AND MODERN SOCIETY 


80 

in Italy, for instance, under the rule of the Christian Democrats 
the teaching of Catholic tenets became compulsory, the 
Catholic religion was declared the only religion of the State, 
bills advocating divorce, birth control, sterilization, and so on, 
were scornfully turned down; the Lateran Treaty, signed by 
Mussolini and Pius XI, was maintained; measures affecting all 
classes were taken; the Catholic Church received special treat¬ 
ment or was even totally exempt from them. Such was the 
case when the Catholic government, after having been forced 
by the strikes of 2,000,000 unemployed, the seizure of land by 
hungry peasants, and the pressure of the Italian Communist 
Party to introduce land reform and begin a moderate form of 
land seizure, the land of the Catholic Church was left wholly 
untouched in spite of the fact that the Church was the biggest 
single landowner, with 1,160,000 acres. 

In the international field the German Government, led by 
a Catholic, was made to embark upon a policy of ruinous 
rearmament, to save “ Christian civilization ” from “ the storm 
brewing from the East,” as stated by Chancellor Adenauer 
(October 5, 1951), and German foreign policy was carried out 
in the closest co-operation with Catholic authorities among the 
occupying powers—e.g. Ivone Kirkpatrick, the British High 
Commissioner for Germany, as staunch a Catholic as Dr. 
Adenauer, although not taking Holy Communion, or hearing 
daily Mass before beginning his work, as did the latter. 

Owing to Catholics being in power, a whole nation can be 
urged, by the combined forces of the Catholic Church, to 
prepare for a future world war, to fight the enemies of the 
Church, and Catholic hierarchs can be given complete freedom 
to incite the people to such a war. Thus, Cardinal Frings, of 
Cologne, only a few years after the second world conflict, 
having repeatedly rebuked the Germans for their stubborn 
resistance to the fast rearmament policy conducted by Catholic 
Adenauer, did not hesitate to declare to a gathering of 25,000 
Germans that “it is a false humanitarianism to fear war so 
much that you will permit any injustice to avoid taking up 
arms,” going so far as to say that it was the duty of all 
Catholics to defend their rights with the power of weapons: 
“People have not only the right but even the duty to restore 
endangered rights .. . with the power of weapons.” <s 



CATHOLIC POWER AND MODERN SOCIETY 


8l 


Similarly in Austria the Church, besides supporting a policy 
of rearmament, came to the fore as the bitterest opponent of 
peace. Cardinal Innitzer, of Vienna, who, after the Anschluss 
in 1938, had urged all Austrians to welcome Hitler, issued 
repeated statements condemning peace demonstrations. “ All 
Catholics are warned against signing peace petitions ” was one 
of them. 49 

In the Americas the effects of political Catholicism were no 
less striking. 

In Canada the Prime Minister, Louis St. Laurent, became 
the main instrument for defeating a Bill advocating divorce in 
Quebec and the proposer for amending the Canadian Constitu¬ 
tion to suit Catholic demands, 50 as well as forcing Protestants 
to observe Catholic holidays by issuing by-laws requiring them 
to close their shops. 5 .i 

In Colombia the Catholic Church, after openly asking 
Catholics to vote for the Conservatives, solemnly backed the 
new Presidential Candidate, Laureano Gomez, a friend of 
General Franco, while the President, Dr. Mariano Ospian 
Perez, said curtly that he was determined to rule the country 
“ according to the principles of Papal encyclicals ” and nothing 
else. 59 

In Uruguay the bishops planned to direct “ all Catholic 
activities towards economic and social problems, as willed 
by the Church, throughout the country, now and in the 
future.” 53 

In Puerto Rico, the Caribbean dependency of the U.S.A., 
the bishops asked that the principles of social legislation, educa¬ 
tion, and so on be embodied in the Constitution in harmony 
with those taught by the Popes. 54 

In Ecuador the Conservative Party championed social 
reforms based on Papal encyclicals. 55 

In Brazil the New Constitution built on Catholic tenets made 
of Catholicism the State Church, and religion became compul¬ 
sory in all schools. 

The political directives of the Catholic hierarchies can, at 
times, even make official opponents of Catholicism court them 
with' promises of support, as in the case of Mexico’s Dr. 
Alfonso Cortinez, who, on accepting nomination as a candidate 
for the Presidency of Mexico in 1953-8, as a means to ensure 



82 


CATHOLIC POWER AND MODERN SOCIETY 


Catholic backing, openly promised complete support of the 
Catholic Church and the restoration of her former privileges. 56 

The Catholic vote is a deciding factor in most elections 
throughout Protestant U.S.A., including the Presidential ones, 
as it is in Australia, where twenty per cent of voters, forming 
a Catholic bloc regimented in the service of the Church, can 
make their weight felt in no uncertain manner throughout 
that continent. 


The ability of the Catholic Church to mobilize political 
forces should not therefore be underestimated. For truly she 
is a concrete political factor with great political implications 
which can profoundly affect society in non-religious fields. 

It is the contention of the Catholic Church that she is not 
concerned with politics and does not mind what form of 
government the nations care to adopt. She has often declared 
that no Catholic is forced, has ever been forced, or is ever 
expected to follow her politically. That is not only inaccurate, 
it is false. For if we accept the fact that a moral question 
may be converted into a social and hence into a political one, 
it follows that Catholics ultimately have to accept the verdict 
of the Pope, if not in detail, at least fundamentally, on 
numerous political problems. In other words, it means that the 
Pope indirectly becomes the political leader of all good 
Catholics. 

This cannot be otherwise. For spiritual obedience more 
often than not means obedience on social and political matters. 
By rejecting this or that principle a Catholic performs a social 
and political action. This not only if he is socially or politically 
minded, but even if he is wholly ignorant of social or political 
issues. 

Thus it follows that, even when the majority of the Catholic 
masses are not directly active in politics or in social problems, 
yet, by following the lead of their Church in religious and 
moral matters, they become weighty political factors which, 
when strengthened, as is usually the case, by zealous minorities, 
can be made to perform actions of paramount political 
significance. 

It may be contended that not all Catholics are good Catholics, 



CATHOLIC POWER AND MODERN SOCIETY 83 

and hence that not all follow the directions of their Church. 
Which is true. Even so, the Church could dispose of one 
of the greatest political machines in the world. It has been 
estimated that, in a nominally Catholic country, one-fifth arc 
active Catholics, one-fifth active anti-Catholics, and the rest 
indifferent but swayable to either side, according to circum¬ 
stances. 

In Protestant countries, e.g. the U.S.A., where Catholics are 
in a minority, the proportion of active Catholics is higher than 
in Catholic lands. Out of 400,000,000, the Pope would thus 
have at his disposal a formidable underground army of 
approximately 100,000,000 individuals. 

When it is remembered how the anti-Communist under¬ 
ground movement in Spain during the Civil War, or the anti¬ 
fascist ones during the Second World War, although small in 
proportion to the bulk of the population, played a leading, 
often a decisive, part in both military and political issues, and 
how such movements now have become as essential to political 
as to military warfare, it is not difficult to grasp the weight that 
the Catholic underground army can be made to exert in the 
internal and external affairs of many countries and, indeed, of 
the world, powerful units of these Catholic battalions being 
scattered over practically all continents. 

If examined in this light, therefore, the contention that no 
Catholic is forced to follow Rome politically, although super¬ 
ficially correct, is seen to be not only misleading but untrue. 


As to Catholic claims that, notwithstanding this, there can 
still be found many who pursue political lines independently 
of the Church, such claims are apparently justified, in that 
there do exist Catholic individuals, groups, movements, trade 
unions, or political parties which often give the impression of 
following a policy not only independent of, but, curiously 
enough, seemingly even contrary to, the broad political lines 
pursued by the Church. Such independence is not genuine. 
It is merely superficial: a clever make-believe designed to 
deceive the enemies of the Church, who, being a master of 
tactics, is in the habit of granting a seeming independence of 
action to local Catholic movements, as a tactical device directed 



CATHOLIC POWER AND MODERN SOCIETY 


84 

at enhancing their political influence, and thus the influence of 
their Church, which ultimately is what they are meant to 
further. 

Such Catholic movements can be compared to army units on 
a battlefield. These may be given ample freedom with regard 
to the mode of fighting or of exploiting the ground. Their 
independence of die supreme commander, however, is local 
and very limited, they never ceasing for a moment to be under 
his orders. A local victory will bring ultimate victory a step 
nearer. Equally, while Catholics may be permitted inde¬ 
pendence of methods and a surprising amount of freedom 
with regard to their local religious or political habitat, they are 
never allowed to deviate from their final goal, and hence to 
ignore their supreme commander, the Pope. Whether their 
battle is fought in the most remote village of Mexico, in the 
U.S.A., in an African colony, or in Rome, their purpose is thus 
always the same: to further the influence and the might of the 
Catholic Church. 



6 


DUAL NATURE OF CATHOLICS 


W -E HAVE, THEN, A POLITICAL POWER 

reinforced by an inner religious 
belief whose vitality is inexhaust¬ 
ible and whose blind faith is boundless and above all reason. 

Herein lies the secret of its strength: its continuity and 
perseverance, the most homogeneous institution in the world. 

The Catholic Church is not, perhaps, endowed with all the 
qualifications of a modern political unit. For instance, her 
members do not live within well-marked geographical 
boundaries; she has no armed forces or industrial means of 
production with which to extend her influence; she is not run 
on the same administrative basis as are modern States; and it 
would appear that her members, scattered throughout the 
world and with their loyalty due to their respective countries, 
would be unable to organize themselves into a single supra¬ 
national political force. 

If these were the characteristics of a modern State, such a 
State would suffer from a tremendous handicap. But in the 
case of the Catholic Church it is just in these characteristics 
that her strength lies. 

The fact that she does not possess any well-defined area 
(Vatican State is 0 5 square mile) does not mean that she has 
none in which to exert her authority; the contrary is the truth 
—her territory is unlimited. It embraces all the lands wherein 

85 



DUAL NATURE OF CATHOLICS 


86 

exists a Catholic; and as Catholics live in practically all the 
countries of the earth, the boundaries of her jurisdiction are 
those of die planet. 

While the external co-operation of States for trade, political, 
and defensive purposes is achieved by great effort and lasts not 
a moment longer than these States consider useful in their own 
interests, the Catholic Church unites into a solid religious and 
political bloc, surpassing geographical and political boundaries, 
all her members who are citizens of these same independent 
States. 

A Catholic citizen of State A and a Catholic citizen of 
State B, independent of the fact that their States may be 
i nimi cal, are equally governed by a universal religious and 
moral authority which is above both. The Catholic citizens of 
State A can favour a given policy concerning internal or 
external matters or social problems pursued by the hostile 
State B. Or, again, the Catholic citizens of States A and B 
can unite and support each other in order to resist a given 
policy—e.g. with regard to social problems—pursued by their 
respective States. 

The leader to whom they can look for guidance, in the same 
way as the citizens of modern States look to their Prime 
Ministers, Presidents, or Dictators, is the Pope. 

Thus, irrespective of the country of which they are 
members, intrinsically they partake of a dual nature and are 
citizens of two States: their country and their Church. 

But their supra-national Church often follows policies in 
conflict with those of the country of which they are citizens. 
In such cases, if they are good Catholics, they have no choice. 
This for one basic reason: that, as their Church is the only 
repository of truth, and that, as only truth has all rights, so the 
laws emanating from truth—that is, from the Church—must 
prevail over those derived from other sources—that is to say, 
from civil authority or, in other words, the State. 

The fundamental duty of Catholics being total obedience to 
truth, their fundamental duty concerning their allegiance is 
but one: total obedience to their Church. This makes them, 
ipso facto, members of the Catholic Church first and citizens 
of the State second. 

Between the laws of the State and those of the Church those 



DUAL NATURE OF CATHOLICS 87 

of the Church come first and foremost, those of the State only 
second. If forced to choose, a Catholic is in conscience 
bound to forgo the laws of the State, for the reason that the 
laws of the State are wrong. And they are wrong simply 
because they do not harmonize with those of the Church. If 
they did, there would be no conflict, and the good Catholics 
would have no choice to make. 

Consequently, if the laws of both Church and State 
harmonize, well and good. If not, the Church requires of 
Catholics their total allegiance to her dicta, to the detriment of 
that which they owe to the State. Hence the Church-State 
conflict. 

This, perhaps more than anything else, is what has 
bedevilled and still continues to bedevil the relations of the 
Catholic Church and the State. The conflict is as ancient as 
the Church herself. It came to the fore, in all its fierceness, 
at the very beginning, when the Roman amphitheatres were 
made to echo with the moans of Christians, condemned, not 
for their religion as such—the religious tolerance of the Roman 
Empire having remained unmatched ever since—but because 
of their refusal to obey the laws of the State, in obedience to 
their religious convictions. 

The chasm between the claims of the Catholic Church and 
those of the State has taxed the loyalty, not only of the citizens 
of the Roman Empire but, equally, of the subjects of medieval 
Europe—indeed, of great non-Christian lands like Japan and 
China. And this for the basic reason that the religious tenets 
of Catholicism are bound to promote an ultimate clash with 
the State, whether Christian or not. The outcome is that, 
wherever there are Catholics there the conflict will always 
surge in all its potency, with results surpassing merely religious 
or moral issues and theoretical or spiritual allegiances. 

Medieval Europe was wrecked for more than half a 
millennium because of this issue, with political results that 
sometimes altered the whole of her history. At times the non- 
Christian lands were made to feel its nefariousness marring 
the relationship between East and West, with the most 
harmful consequences. 

Peking in the seventeenth century had become a famous 
Catholic centre, where Jesuits were held in the highest esteem. 



DUAL NATURE OF CATHOLICS 


88 

These, by 1664, had already published more than 150 books, in 
Chinese, on geography, astronomy, mathematics, natural 
science, physics, ethics, and philosophy, in addition to count¬ 
less pamphlets dealing with the teachings of Catholicism, some 
of which were even printed in various Chinese dialects. 

But while the Jesuits were respected in Peking opposition 
grew rapidly throughout China, provoked by a cogent ques¬ 
tion : whether or not Chinese converts should perform 
Confucian rites. Confucian rites were not formal ceremonies. 
They were integrated with the traditional social and political 
institutions of Chinese society. Consequently, by rejecting 
them, Chinese converts were rejecting, not so much a religious 
code as the established traditional secular tenets backed by the 
authority of the State. Chinese Catholics should perform 
them, asserted the Jesuits; this to prevent their being disloyal 
to their country. The Franciscans and Dominicans, however, 
declared against it. The converts were Catholics first and 
Chinese second was their contention, and their obedience to 
the Chinese authorities came after their obedience to the Church. 

The controversy split both Europeans and Chinese into two 
bitterly hostile camps. At last it was decided to appeal directly 
to the Pope for a clear-cut decision. 

Pope Clement XI (1700-21) denounced the Jesuits, categori¬ 
cally asserting that Chinese Catholics must sever all connexions 
with Confucianism, whether that implied withdrawal of their 
allegiance to the State or not. 

The K’ang-hsi Emperor (1661-1721) naturally objected to 
such a decision, and questioned the rights of a “foreign 
prince ” to issue decrees affecting the internal affairs of the 
Chinese Empire. 

The Papal injunction created serious disturbances. Not 
because of the religious beliefs of the converts, it should be 
noted, but because of the crystal-clear implication that the 
authority of the Catholic Church came before that of the State 
and, hence, that Chinese Catholics, once members of such a 
Church, had to obey her laws first and those of the State second. 

Pope Clement’s successors upheld his decision, as did Pope 
Benedict XIV (1740-58) when, in 1742, another attempt was 
made to end the rites dilemma. 

Similar issues arose in other lands, for instance, in 



DUAL NATURE OF CATHOLICS 


89 

Korea, where Catholics were asked to destroy their ancestral 
tablets. Many did, resulting in their condemnation by the 
Korean magistrates, followed by political riots, which ended in 
persecutions. 

The issue exists in all its entirety today and is as cogent now 
as when it took the form of the incense-burning of the 
Christians under the Romans, of the act of homage of the 
German emperors to the Popes, and of the Confucian rites of 
the Chinese. This is so because Catholics are still confronted 
with the equivalent of these situations now. Their Church is 
still telling them which laws to obey and which not to obey, 
testing the allegiance which they owe her with the same 
disregard for the rights of modern society and for the duties 
of Catholics as members of their State, as she did in Imperial 
Rome, in the Middle Ages, and in China. To be sure, the 
testing has been greatly modified to suit the changed times. 
Yet, fundamentally, it is the same. 

This might be restricted to a conflict between a Catholic 
and his own Church. But it might not. In which case the 
conflict will trespass into social, educational, scientific, 
economic or political fields, and hence raise issues of great 
importance, affecting the authority of the State, and the 
relationship of the latter with its members claiming to owe their 
first allegiance to their Church, 

A Catholic’s allegiance can be taxed in many fashions, can 
vary a great deal, take on many shades, and reach many 
degrees. Certain injunctions of his Church can permit him 
an ambiguous, or even innocuous, choice. In others, however, 
neither doubts nor ambiguity will be allowed, in which case 
he will have to proclaim that the laws of the Church for him 
come before those of the State, and hence that he considers 
himself a Catholic first and a citizen second, his allegiance to 
the Church being paramount. 

In some cases such dual loyalty can remain unaffected. 
On occasions, however, a Catholic can be faced with a painful 
dilemma, while at others it can be made to snap with dire 
results. 

Some injunctions of the Catholic Church can be of the 
mildest nature and, therefore, in no way impair the authority 
of the State. At the same time, however, they can affect the 



DUAL NATURE OF CATHOLICS 


90 

freedom of a member or of many members of one or more 
States and thus constitute a social issue of a domestic and 
international nature. 

For instance, the Catholic Church prohibits her priests from 
membership of the Rotary Clubs and gives warning to 
Catholics, in general, against frequenting them. The Rotary 
movement is a world federation of businessmen; an influential 
body reflecting the combination of a broad ethical code with 
practical commercial considerations. By her ordinance the 
Catholic Church affected a basic tenet—namely, the freedom 
of association of a society of leading representatives of the 
professions, commerce, and industry whose total membership 
of a third of a million forms the 7,300 Rotary clubs scattered 
over eighty-three different countries. 

The motive of the prohibition was revealing. It was issued 
on the grounds that Rotary was “ one of those secret con¬ 
demned seditious or suspect societies which seek to draw them 
[Catholics] away from the legitimate supervision of the 
Church.” 1 

To their protestations that “ the Rotary’s programme of 
service is in accordance with all religions,” the Vatican s reply 
was significant. Rotary had been banned just because it 
believed that all religions were good, which was tantamount 
to “ tolerance of a Protestant type.” 2 

When, however, the Catholic Church prohibits Catholics 
from accepting certain scientific theories, thus interfering 
directly with contemporary theoretical and applied sciences, 
then her injunctions begin to assume a more serious character 
and, by becoming the concern of society in general, are 
also an issue affecting, to a minor or major degree, the 
authority of the State; e.g. with regard to education and to the 
acceptance of certain scientific changes or medical practices. 
This, claims the Catholic Church, is one of her rights, as it is 
her duty (in the words of the Vatican Council, April 24, 1870), 
to take “ great care that the sciences do not admit error into 
their systems,” and that “ they [the sciences] do not invade or 
overthrow the domain of faith.” 

Which means that she claims to be the sole judge of what is 
error not only in the theological or ethical fields but, it should 
be noted, ultimately also in the scientific ones. 



DUAL NATURE OF CATHOLICS 91 

This was reiterated when Pius XII, dealing with the 
relationship of faith and science in his encyclical Humani 
Generis (August 21, 1950), decreed that all Catholics “ must 
be prepared to submit to the judgment of the Church ” on 
scientific matters. 

What is the real significance of such an injunction? That 
Catholics and Catholic scientists are forbidden to accept 
theoretical or applied science which, according to the Church, 
is wrong. 

Now this might remain a harmless Papal claim—as long as 
Popes set about correcting the calendar, as happened, for 
instance, before 1582, when the year was reckoned, according 
to the Julian Calendar, as containing 365 days and 6 hours, 
which exceeded by some minutes its actual length. The mis¬ 
take was corrected by Pope Gregory XIII, who ordered that 
the day after October 4, 1582, should be called October 15, 
hence the Gregorian Calendar. The old style of reckoning 
was observed in England till 1752, when the day after 
September 2 was called September 14. Pope Gregory XIII, to 
make up the difference between the astronomical and the 
computed year, arranged that every fourth year should be a 
leap year—that is to say, a year of 366 days—but that in every 
400 years three leap years should be omitted. 1700, 1800, and 
1900 were not leap years; but 2000 will be a leap year. Changes 
such as these were called Papal interference with science and 
caused riots. If, the Popes’ pronouncements met with objec¬ 
tion in matters of this particular kind their authority might 
pass unchallenged even now. 

The Popes, however, plunge boldly into far deeper scientific 
waters, claiming to be the only possessors of the truth in funda¬ 
mental scientific matters: e.g. in the origin of the human 
species. Pope Pius XII was very explicit on the subject. In 
the same encyclical, after having decreed that all Catholics must 
believe in the real existence of angels, he affirmed that they 
must, above all, accept the story of Adam and Eve as absolutely 
true. The story is neither a myth nor an allegory, he asserted. 
It must be taken literally. 

What, then, is the true implication of such a Papal injunc¬ 
tion? The true implication is that Catholics must reject 
evolution. Pius XII, to make this quite clear, in the same 



DUAL NATURE OF CATHOLICS 


92 

encyclical simply condemns any believer who acts as if the 
doctrine of evolution “ were . . . proved by facts.” To show 
that evolution cannot be true the Pope brings forward as the 
best undeniable evidence the advocacy of the theory by Com¬ 
munists. “ Communists,” he says, “ gladly subscribe to this 
opinion, so that they may more efficaciously propagate their 
dialectical materialism.” 

Whether the theory of evolution is correct or erroneous is 
anyone’s opinion. Science, not being infallible, has not yet 
dogmatized about it. Nonetheless, a tremendous volume of 
evidence points to its probable veracity. The Catholic Church, 
however, ignores it all, claiming that she has more sure know¬ 
ledge on the matter than is supplied by all the scientific data 
put together, even when proofs are there to stultify her 
assertions. 

Her claim to be an authority in the scientific field is based 
on the grounds that her dicta, when and if supported by faith, 
are the ultimate criteria of what is true and what is false. 

Having thus disposed of modern experimental science, the 
Catholic Church takes another step forward, asserting with 
equal boldness that certain phenomena have occurred and are 
true, and must be blindly believed, in spite of there being 
neither scientific, historical, nor indeed even Biblical evidence 
to support them. 

One of these is that “ the immaculate Mother of God, Mary, 
ever Virgin, when the course of her life on earth was finished, 
was taken up body and soul into heaven,” 3 thus pronouncing 
the levitation—in vulgar parlance, “ air-lift ”—of the Virgin 
an infallible fact. The Catholic Church contends, therefore, 
that this is truer than evolution, of which, by contrast, there 
are no proofs whatsoever. The Pope has spoken ex cathedral 
Because of it 400,000,000 Catholics must implicidy believe it, 
under pain of excommunication. The Pope can decree that 
Adam and Eve were real persons, that evolution is a fable, that 
a human body went upwards, because “ the Pope has divine 
assurance,” as Pius XII said so humbly of himself and of his 
predecessors and successors. 4 

Consequently it becomes his right and his duty to tell 
Catholics not to believe in “ myths ” created by contemporary 
experimental science, such as, for instance, “ the superstition of 



DUAL NATURE OF CATHOLICS 


93 

technology ” and the “ productive organization,” as Pius XII 
declared. 5 Catholics, therefore, while rejecting “ the super¬ 
stition of technology ” on the grounds that the “ Pope’s voice 
denounces errors, idolatries, and superstitions,” 5 must accept 
the total truth that a material body like that of the Virgin 
Mary could defy the laws of gravitation, of matter, of time, 
and of space—without mentioning the problem of the abysses 
of the cosmos, which light, at a velocity of 299,813 km. a 
second, takes millions of years to traverse—and be “ taken up 
body and soul into heaven,” as the most evident of all modern 
truths. 

This is not binding on Catholics only. It is binding on all 
Christians, including Protestants and Orthodox. Not because, 
like Catholics, they are bound by the belief in the infallibility 
of the Pope, but simply because the rule of Vincent of Lerins 
that what has been believed “ everywhere, always and by all ” 
must be regarded as “ God’s revelation to mankind.” Such 
highly scientific argument, it must be remembered, is one of 
the strong points of contemporary Catholic theology. So the 
ascension into heaven of a humble Palestinian working-class 
woman at some time in the thirtieth or fortieth year of our 
era is an incontestable historical event, because “ there could 
scarcely be a more obvious mark of authority than the fact that 
four hundred million Catholics believe in it.” 6 

Whether this typical Catholic logic can be applied with 
equal certainty to another no less incontestable fact, which 
seems to have, perhaps, more historical documentation than 
the Assumption—namely, the universal belief, of not so long 
ago, that the earth was flat—is no longer a matter of open or 
public debate in Catholic quarters. The Catholic Church’s 
practical enforcement of her edicts upon scientific issues by 
means of the Holy Inquisition—for instance, against Galileo, 
who dared to prove not only that the earth, in addition to 
being spherical, revolved round the sun, but indeed that earth, 
planets, and all are in continuous movement, although super¬ 
ciliously dismissed as hackneyed anti-Catholic bigotry—is still 
too significant to be forgotten. 

For the spirit which moved the Catholic Church to prevent 
Copernicus from publishing his astronomical discoveries and 
which condemned the philosopher Giordano Bruno to be burnt 



DUAL NATURE OF CATHOLICS 


94 

alive in the square of an Italian city is not dead. It is as alive 
now as it was then. 

The evolution of contemporary society has blunted Catholic 
intransigence to such a point as to make it practically harm¬ 
less. The Catholic Church herself, thanks to a new policy of 
extreme caution, has greatly modified her attitude in such 
matters. Indeed, in a world made to pulsate ever more swiftly 
by the practical achievement of science, she has gone even 
further—by adopting her classical strategy. As soon as she 
has become convinced that what she tried to annihilate has 
turned into an invincible force, bitter opposition is suddenly 
changed into open courtship. The Pope, naturally, becomes 
her leading oracle, and the contradictions uttered would be 
unbelievable, even for the most mentally distressed, had not 
the reasoning faculties of many been previously paralysed 
by that masterpiece of Catholic evidence—Papal Infalli¬ 
bility. 

Papal Infallibility does not apply to science, but it is near 
enough to faith and morals hopelessly to squeeze any logic out 
of Catholic minds. 

A typical instance: Pius XII, after having decreed that all 
Catholics must believe literally in Adam and Eve and in the 
Garden of Eden, in the following year declared that he, the 
Pope, agreed with science about the Universe having begun 
some 5,000,000,000 years ago. These figures, Pius XII went 
on, clothed the opening words of Genesis “ in a concrete and 
almost mathematical expression ” (note the word “ mathe¬ 
matical ”). After having mentioned solid facts, such as 
meteorites, the oldest minerals, and nuclear physics, the Papal 
summing-up concluded that modern science at last had con¬ 
firmed the existence of God and had “ succeeded in bearing 
witness to that primordial Fiat Lux uttered at the moment 
when . . . there burst forth from nothing a sea of light and 
radiation.” 

The “ Infallible ” Pope did not see any contradiction 
between his first injunctions—namely, literal belief in the 
Biblical account of the creation and the acceptance of the 
notion that “ the days ” enumerated in Genesis should be 
understood as distinct epochs of prehistoric development, as 
advocated by modern science. 7 



DUAL NATURE OF CATHOLICS 95 

In spite o£ Papal fumbling with modern science, however, 
the mulish Catholic broodings against it are unaltered. The 
fundamental Catholic tenet is still Revelation, as interpreted 
and expounded by the Pope, and only such Revelation is the 
ultimate truth. Science, lately, owing to its irresistible 
successes, has been promoted by Catholic opportunism to be 
one of the most “ successful ” appendages of Papal Revelation. 
Even so, scientific discoveries cannot be true unless approved 
by Papal Revelation. Whether Catholic beliefs are in open 
contradiction to logic, to the most elementary reasoning, and 
to the most concrete facts will not move the Pope or any 
Catholics, who will remain as unconcerned as sphinxes. It 
could not be otherwise, having swallowed even mightier incon¬ 
trovertible “ truths ”—e.g. the revolving sun of Fatima; the 
mere assertion that a woman, 2,000 years old, is literally alive 
now, somewhere “ in heaven,” "with her own material body, 
although slightly in disharmony with astrophysics, to them is 
as true as anything proved by science. 

On what grounds? On the grounds that it is an “ infallible 
Papal Revelation.” Pius XII, in a most gracious effort to 
illuminate the opaque mentality of non-believers, took pains 
to explain that these could reach the same conclusion by the 
intelligent use of two supplementary truth-searching instru¬ 
ments : philosophy and science. But, warned the Holy 
Father, beware—for both philosophy and science can help 
one to find truth only in so far as they do not contradict 
“ Revelation.” If they do, they are no longer instruments of 
truth. 7 

Papal authoritative assertions could remain a matter of 
solace, even among the less intellectually ambitious, if they 
were confined to the Jesuit “ ghost writers ” concocting the 
Pope’s speeches, decrees, and dogmas. 8 But Papal utterances, 
even when not hallowed by the myth of infallibility, have the 
most serious repercussions. For they help stubbornly to main¬ 
tain a most unsympathetic attitude towards the theoretical and 
experimental practices of science. 

The result is that the distorted Catholic approach to science 
is seriously interfering with its free investigation wherever 
there are Catholics. This Catholic spirit pervades millions, so 
that Catholic interference with free experimentation, practice, 



DUAL NATURE OF CATHOLICS 


96 

and application of scientific achievements—although almost 
undetected—is such as to be deemed impossible were it not 
true. 

The Pope’s denunciation of the “ superstition of technology ” 
is not an isolated denunciation. It is a significant tract of the 
fundamental attitude of the Catholic Church towards science. 
This is supported by concrete facts. The more a modern 
country is impregnated with Catholicism, the less it is scienti¬ 
fically minded. The most striking evidence lies in the fact that 
Portugal’s or Spain’s contributions to modern scientific know¬ 
ledge in the theoretical and experimental fields are practically 
nil. This is not due to the inability of their people to keep 
pace with scientific or technical advances. The Iberian genius, 
if freed from the spiritual suffocation of Catholicism, could 
undoubtedly add its worthy share to any branch of modern 
science, on a par with any other race. Their sterility is 
primarily due to the super-charged Catholic atmosphere they 
breathe. This is allergic to science, and when the impact of 
science is so potent that it can move the Catholic Church herself, 
Catholicism still retards any scientific progress among Catholics. 

Perhaps the most striking proof is that given by the 
American Catholics. American Catholics are part of the most 
scientifically- and technologically-minded nation of the West. 
The opportunity for them, if not to excel, at least to compare 
favourably with non-Catholic scientific, theoretical, or experi¬ 
mental workers could not be more aggressively favourable. 
Yet what is their achievement? Catholic colleges and univer¬ 
sities are at the bottom of the list for published research, just 
as Catholic medical schools are at the bottom of medical rating 
lists; and of 303 “ starred ” scientists listed in American Men 
of Science only three, or less than one per cent, are Catholics. 
Though claiming the largest membership among all religious 
bodies in the U.S.A., they provide by far the smallest number 
of scientific research workers in proportion to their number. 0 

As for the prominent “ Catholic ” scientists produced in 
Italy, France, and Germany and claimed by the Church as her 
members, the overwhelming majority were only nominally 
Catholic. Most of them, in addition to having discarded Catho¬ 
lic allegiance, lived as agnostics or even as atheists, the propor¬ 
tion of Catholic scientists who remained practising Catholics 



DUAL NATURE OF CATHOLICS 97 

being less than one per cent. Such Catholic backwardness, 
more than significant, is ominous. 


But where the deadening weight of Catholicism is made to 
be felt, perhaps, more concretely than in any other particular 
branch of science, is in the medical field. Here the Catholic 
Church’s claim to being the ultimate authority is still being 
pushed to its utmost limit with an unheard-of boldness and 
with the gravest results for the individual, the State, medicine, 
and science. 

To be sure, the Catholic Church does not bind medicine in 
general, as she did when the secular sword was at her disposal 
—for instance, during the Dark and Middle Ages. In those 
days she arrested medical progress for at least five hundred 
years by strictly forbidding medieval surgeons to study the 
human body, by making autopsies, on the ground that it was 
a mortal sin against the Holy Ghost, whose temple the body 
was, and by burning a few surgeons by way of example. 

But if she can no longer brandish a secular sword, she can 
still brandish a spiritual one, which, for several hundreds of 
millions of people is, at times, still more powerful than the 
sword of old. 

This permits her to enter as an authority into fields from 
which she should be excluded, provoking an impact upon a 
paramount branch of science, the medical one, which some¬ 
times results in the gravest consequences: e.g. stultification of 
the authority of the State by taxing its members’ loyalty, 
claiming, with unheard-of arrogance, that any Catholic, no 
matter in what State he might live and regardless of his or her 
social status, must obey the laws of the Catholic Church first 
and wholly disregard those of the State whenever these do not 
conform with hers. 

Her injunctions in this particular field can range from some 
bordering the dark chambers of superstition—e.g. Catholic 
frowning upon certain currents of modern psychology—to 
surgical operations, in which the Church’s command becomes 
literally a matter of life and death. 

The Catholic Church has always frowned upon psychology 
and psychiatry. She has never dared openly to condemn them, 



DUAL NATURE OF CATHOLICS 


98 

but has put up a passive resistance tacitly amounting to a silent, 
bitter opposition. Psychology, by entering into a forbidden 
inner emotional and spiritual temple of man, is, according to 
the Catholic Church, violating a place where only the Church 
is supreme. Hence it should be discouraged. Psychology 
threatens to minimize, indeed even to do away altogether 
with, sin. How could the Church survive without the 
existence of sin ? 

I am a spokesman of the Catholic Church when I say that any positive 
denial of sm on the part of Freudian psycho-analysis renders that science 
inadequate for handling problems which affect the whole man, 

declared Mgr. Fulton Sheen, of the Catholic University of 
America, following the resignation of some Catholic psychia¬ 
trists, after the latter’s attack on psycho-analysis in St. Patrick’s 
Cathedral, New York. 10 

“ Cows have no psychoses, and pigs had no neuroses, and 
chickens are not frustrated. . . . Neither would man be 
frustrated ... if he were an animal made only for this world,” 
was the worthy prelate’s a-Freudian logic. 11 

Psychiatrists, therefore, must not supplant priests. Mass 
exorcism should be preferred to psychological treatment. 

From this to surgical operations dealing with mental 
disorders is a small step, and Catholic resistance gets stronger. 
Operations on the brain, or prefrontal leucotomy, a surgical 
treatment for mental and psychological disorders, are stub¬ 
bornly discouraged. Reason? Such operations may impair 
tire patient’s free will, may produce a marked change in his 
personality, and, last but not least, may produce “ a tendency 
to be less religious.” 

Operations of this kind, as a Catholic specialist had to admit, 
“ are a bogy in Catholic eyes,” 12 and greatly discourage both 
Catholic specialists and Catholic patients from dealing 
objectively with medical progress in this specialized field. 

In certain matters, however, the Catholic Church openly 
tells her members to disobey the State. For instance, when 
dealing with euthanasia. A movement has grown in all 
civilized countries to dispose of in the most humane fashion, 
either voluntarily or otherwise, and after due precautions have 
been taken that no injustice is committed, individuals who 



DUAL NATURE OF CATHOLICS 99 

might be judged a burden to themselves and to society. 

Some States have tacitly adopted euthanasia. Others will 
undoubtedly legalize it. Catholics living in such States, how¬ 
ever, will disobey their countries’ laws to obey those of their 
Church. 

The Church is very explicit on the matter and has warned 
them repeatedly concerning their duty to disobey such measures, 
formally declaring that the killing of “ those who ... are not 
only useless . . . but also a burden upon it [society] is con¬ 
trary to positive natural and divine right, and, therefore, 
unlawful.” 13 

Hence all Catholics must oppose euthanasia, whether it is 
legalized or not, even if it is carried out “ by order of public 
authority.” 14 

Catholics, however, can influence in their favour local, 
national, and even international bodies, thus making the 
Catholic Church’s edicts applicable to non-Catholics as well. 
As, for instance, when the Council of the World Medical 
Association, representing more than 500,000 doctors from forty 
nations, meeting in Copenhagen in 1950, condemned 
euthanasia “ in any circumstances ”—a decision publicly 
applauded by Cardinal Spellman of New York, as conforming 
to the tenets of the Catholic Church, who had primarily 
inspired the Association with its decision. 

Euthanasia and cognate issues are still controversial subjects, 
and hence, having been not yet universally adopted by society, 
Catholics, by obeying the command of their Church, cannot 
be accused of disobeying the laws of the governments of which 
they are citizens. 

But where the dicta of the Catholic Church have, perhaps, 
more far-reaching results, affecting as they do the individual, 
the State, society, and indeed the world at large, is in the field 
of what Catholics disparagingly call the “ pseudo-science ” of 
eugenics. 15 Here the Catholic Church does not confine herself 
to frowning upon or to advising, but actually dictates to her 
members what and what not to do, unequivocally and without 
appeal, wholly regardless of their duty as citizens of the State, 
members of society, and inhabitants of the earth. 

Catholics have no say whatsoever. The supreme authority 
is neither themselves, the medical profession, nor the State. It 



100 


DUAL NATURE OF CATHOLICS 


is the Catholic Church, whose laws are above those of the State, 
which all Catholics must repudiate when they have to make a 
choice between them and those of the Church. The sexes 
exist only to propagate the human race, declares the Church. 
Hence married couples must in no way prevent the birth of 
children. Anything done contrary to that is sinful and hence 
is strictly forbidden. 

This sounds a harmless enough theoretical declaration. But 
its effects are boundless. They reverberate in the moral, social, 
economic, and political spheres. They become a potent brake 
in the field of applied medicine, and thus a social obstacle of 
paramount importance. 

For this means that 400,000,000 Catholics cannot adopt birth 
control, a practice rendered necessary by economic and social 
circumstances, both for the individual and for the State. Birth 
control is only one. Sterilization, advocated by individuals, 
the medical profession, and the State, is also strictly forbidden. 
Artificial insemination, which is on the increase and which is 
also in many cases recommended by both the medical 
profession and the State, cannot be practised by Catholic 
couples: “ It is absolutely ruled out.” 10 

Certain States have legalized artificial insemination and, 
with it, the children born by this new medical achievement. 
The Catholic Church orders her members completely to ignore 
the laws of the State—indeed, to disregard them—to treat 
citizens who have resorted to it as adulterers and their children 
as illegitimate, for “a child conceived in these circumstances 
would be illegitimate.” 16 

The prohibition of birth control affects not only Catholics 
but also non-Catholics. Four hundred million people, scat¬ 
tered in all countries, when disregarding it in obedience to 
their Church, create a social and economic problem of great 
consequence, particularly when the tendency to regulate the 
increase of the State’s and the world’s population has become 
a necessity. 

Certain countries are overcrowded. Both in the East and in 
the West populations are increasing at an alarming rate, taxing 
the economic balance of great geographical and economic 
units. This tendency has become universal, and hence its 
effects are not only local but world-wide. Thus, each day the 



DUAL NATURE OF CATHOLICS 101 

newly bom exceed the number of deaths by 60,000, whereas, if 
only births as such are taken into account, every three seconds 
two human beings are being born every day and night of the 
year. And, thanks to medical science, the two are rapidly 
moving to three. India’s population, for instance, has 
increased by fifteen per cent in each of the last two decades— 
over 4,000,000 every year—an increase of 42,000,000 between 
1942 and 1952. 

At the same time the cultivable area of the world is shrink¬ 
ing, because of soil erosion and for other reasons, while the 
distribution of food is grossly mishandled owing to the archaic 
economic systems and the anarchical economic interchanges 
of many food-producing and food-consuming nations. 
Undoubtedly when the world economic system is rationally 
planned, the land is scientifically tilled, and atomic energy 
utilized, the fear of an increasing world population will prove 
unfounded. On the other hand, the fear of nations being 
unable to feed their peoples because they are over-populated at 
present is real. Millions are under-nourished, starving, and 
dying. 

Hence the necessity to regulate the growth of population. 
Birth control is the paramount remedy. The United Nations, 
as well as political, economic, and medical authorities, have all 
seconded it. In India and Pakistan the Governments have 
promoted a network of birth-control clinics, because of the two 
countries’ “ extremely high fertility.” In China family 
planning is spreading among the lower classes. In Japan, 
where excess of births over deaths is approximately 1,600,000 
yearly, the Diet enacted the Eugenic Protection Law, contain¬ 
ing clauses by which to establish offices throughout Japan in 
order to popularize birth control. Japan is a non-Christian 
country. It has less than 200,000 Catholics in a population 
approximating 90,000,000. Yet the Catholic Church, incredible 
as it may seem, successfully attempted to thwart the will of the 
Japanese people by sanctioning Catholic doctrines upon a 
non-Christian nation. 

This was done, Catholic fashion, by blackmailing the 
American authorities in occupation. In 1949 the population of 
Japan had risen to 82,000,000—an increase of some 9,500,000 
since 1945. The Government decided on a policy of birth- 



X02 


DUAL NATURE OF CATHOLICS 


control teaching and urged the Americans to co-operate. The 
Americans did. But immediately a cry of protest rose against 
their permission. From the Japanese people? Not at all! 
From the tiny Catholic minority, from an even smaller group, 
the American Catholic Women in Japan, from Catholics in 
the U.S.A., and from the Vatican. 

General MacArthur, the American Commander, was 
prompdy subjected to Catholic pressure groups, particularly in 
Washington. The American Catholic Women’s Club of 
Tokyo and Yokohama, 17 Cardinal Spellman, Catholic Congress¬ 
men and Senators contacted the General. Birth control must 
be forbidden in Japan. 

General MacArthur agreed. References to birth control in 
publications released by his headquarters were deleted, and on 
June 6, i949> he disavowed the Occupation Advisers’ birth- 
control statement. In January, 1950, still under relentless 
Catholic American pressure, he quashed a new attempt by a 
division of the Japanese Administration, the Natural Resources 
Section, to propagandize birth control. 

When MacArthur was dismissed (spring, 1951), and, after 
Japan signed a peace treaty with the U.S.A. (autumn, 195 1 )’ 
the Japanese Government promoted a new campaign, in view 
of the fact that “ the Japanese peace treaty did not allow any 
outlet for the nation’s excess population”; the Osservatore 
Romano, with an effrontery matched only by that authority 
for which it spoke, condemned the Japanese Government and 
the practice, teaching, and promotion of birth control in non- 
Christian Japan. 18 

But where Catholic injunctions are sanctioned, via direct 
orders from the Vatican, is in the West. There the rate of 
increase in population is about five per cent in ten years. Yet 
certain European countries are so overcrowded that they are 
unable to feed their populations—e.g. Catholic Belgium and 
Italy. 

A most striking instance occurred in Protestant England. 
In 1951 the British Government charged a Royal Commission 
•with making proposals for the regulation of the country’s 
population. After a long and patient investigation the Com¬ 
mission proposed, as a long-range policy, a moderate form of 
birth control—namely, that the population in England be 



DUAL NATURE OF CATHOLICS 


103 

increased by about six per cent and, thereafter, be maintained 
at that level. Among other measures the Commission 
recommended that all married couples should be offered 
instruction in artificial contraception. 

The hierarchy of England promptly issued an official state¬ 
ment condemning them outright. “ We must proclaim again 
that artificial contraception is intrinsically evil, contrary to the 
law of God, and a mutilation of the purpose and process of the 
sexual act.” 19 

The State implemented the recommendation of the Com¬ 
mission as part of a national policy, through the National 
Health scheme, and the Catholic Church again promptly 
condemned the State’s instrument, declaring: “ It is an abuse 
of a position of authority and not to be tolerated.” 20 “ Since 
the teaching of artificial contraception through the medium of 
the National Health Service is an integral feature of the plan 
proposed, we must condemn the plan on that ground alone.” 19 
“ Any Catholic woman who goes to an Institution for medical 
or surgical treatment.. . must decline to sign [any document] 

. . . unless she consult a priest ” ordered the Archbishop of 
Glasgow. 19 The Church went further and ordered all Catholic 
doctors to refuse to implement the instructions of the National 
Health scheme: “ Catholic doctors ... are obliged in con¬ 
science to refuse to give the instructions in artificial contra¬ 
ception which the Commission proposes for inclusion among 
the duties of medical practitioners under the National Health 
Service.” 19 

The gravity of this can be judged when it is remembered 
that doctors in England are employees of the State under the 
National Health Service. 

The Catholic Church then ordered not only the medical 
profession but also all English Catholics to disobey the 
instructions of the State: “ For married couples to limit their 
families, even by innocent means, in deference to a State-made 
scheme . .. would be not only sinful. . .,” and thus “ there is 
no course open to us but to condemn the scheme, outright, 
and to direct the Catholics of this country that it is their duty 
to do all in their power ... to prevent the implementation of 
these proposals.” 19 

English Catholics had to consider themselves Catholics first 



DUAL NATURE OF CATHOLICS 


IO4 

and Englishmen second, thus putting the laws of their Church 
above those of their government, and hence openly declaring 
themselves members of the Catholic Church first and of the 
State second. 

As the Catholic Church did not hesitate to declare her laws 
to be above the laws of a Protestant country, so she has never 
hesitated to proclaim such laws above those of non-Christian 
lands, such as Islamic Egypt; India, partly Islamic and partly 
Hindu; and Japan, partly Buddhist and partly Shintoist. Her 
laws, she claims, are above those of all governments the world 
over, and hence her members, no matter under which govern¬ 
ment they may find themselves, be it that of the United States 
of America or of Communist China, must obey her first and 
their government second. 

Obedience to the Pope’s laws, however, at times becomes a 
matter of life and death. Once more Catholics have no say 
whatsoever. This is so when it is a matter of choice between 
saving the life of a baby or that of the mother. The Catholic 
Church has firmly maintained that the mother must be 
sacrificed. 

Owing to the tendency of many doctors and Catholic 
parents to overlook this basic ruling, the Popes, from time to 
time, come out with ever more outspoken rules about it. One 
of the very clearest was that of Pius XII in 1951, considered to 
be of exceptional importance for having brought up to date 
earlier pontifical utterances on this question. 

In it the Pope, after having decreed that all Catholics, 
nurses, midwives, doctors, or any members of the medical or 
cognate professions must always categorically refuse to prevent 
procreation, stated that when it comes to the question of a 
choice between saving the life of the mother and that of the 
unborn child a husband, a doctor, or even the State have to 
obey only the law of the Catholic Church—namely, sacrifice of 
the mother—for 

every human being, even a baby in its mother’s womb, has the right to 
live. . . . That right comes from God, not from the parents nor from 
any human society or authority. 

The Pope asserts, therefore, (hat the right to decide rests not 
with the husband or with the doctor or with anybody else, but 
with the Catholic Church: 



DUAL NATURE OF CATHOLICS 


I0 5 

There is no man, no human authority, no science, no medical, eugenic, 
social, economic, or moral reason, which may give a valid decision . . . 

for choosing to save the life of the mother instead of that of the 
unborn child. The sacrifice of the baby “is forbidden . . . 
and cannot be justified in any way.” 21 

The Pope’s unequivocal ruling created a world-wide 
reaction, although the Papal pronouncement in reality was 
nothing more than a frank reiteration of one of the Catholic 
laws. 

Of the Pope’s ruling that the baby has the right of survival 
over the mother, “ such a view will be frankly horrifying to 
millions of non-Catholic husbands,” commented an important 
English organ. “ It cuts right across the natural human 
instincts and is a complete reversal of the traditional 
attitude.” 22 

An organ of the Church of England accused the Pope 
of “ overstepping the limit of common sense,” calling his 
injunction “ inhuman, callous, and cruel.” 23 

The Pope’s reassertion was a sharp reminder to Catholics 
that they are members of the Church first and of their country 
second. The reminder was directed also to non-Catholics and, 
indeed, to the modern State, and became, therefore, a matter 
of public interest and not “ an unwarranted intrusion into the 
private concerns of others.” 22 “ In Protestant countries, a 

matter of grave public policy is involved, for the Papal 
pronouncement will affect Protestant parents in almost equal 
degree.” 22 

The seriousness of the issue can be gauged by the fact that 
the Pope’s rules, besides being strictly observed in Catholic 
lands and institutions, are also complied with in the countless 
maternity homes, hospitals, and clinics in Protestant and non- 
Chrisdan countries where there are Catholic nurses, midwives, 
doctors, and gynaecologists who are in duty bound to obey the 
Pope’s will instead of that of the husband, the medical 
authorities, or the State of which they are citizens. 

Consequently Catholic laws are being enforced even upon 
non-Catholics by Catholics living in Protestant and non- 
Christian countries. In clinics and maternity homes in 
England, the U.S.A., Czechoslovakia, Hungary, the African 
colonies, Asiatic countries including Japan, and wherever 



I06 DUAL NATURE OF CATHOLICS 

Catholics are employed by non-Catholic authorities, the 
religious belief of Catholics does not and cannot remain a 
matter of purely personal concern. For Catholics will auto¬ 
matically condemn to death either the wife, mother, or sister 
of a Protestant in the U.S.A., of an Orthodox in Rumania, of a 
pagan in Central Africa, or of a Shintoist in Japan in obedience 
to the Pope’s ruling. The same applies to any other citizen 
who may not even hold any religious belief at all. 

That the denomination of doctors, midwives, and obstetri¬ 
cians which, in the case of Protestants and non-Christian, or 
agnostic individuals, institutions, or States, can safely be con¬ 
sidered only a matter of personal concern, cannot be said of 
Catholics. For Catholics, having to obey laws made in Rome 
and therefore disobey those made in their own respective 
countries, act according to such laws. Thus, in the medical 
field, a Protestant or agnostic husband may find out too late 
that a Iife-and-death decision concerning the life-partner has 
been in the hands of one committed to a principle abhorrent 
to him. 

The implication of the Church’s ruling on this vital issue 
did not escape non-Catholics anywhere. The seriousness of 
the Pope’s command became even graver in those countries 
with socialised medicine—e.g. England, with her National 
Health Service. For there Protestants, particularly of the 
working classes, having little or no choice of what hospitals or 
clinics they attend, have even less opportunity to avoid 
entrusting their wives to Catholic doctors. Many non- 
Catholics were registered patients of Catholic physicians. This 
meant that non-Catholic patients were at the mercy of Catholics 
who applied the Papal decrees, whether they liked it or not. 

Fears and concern about this brought assurances from lead¬ 
ing Catholics, but such assurances, besides being unconvincing, 
had the reverse effect. They proved anything but that Catholic 
doctors “ would put an issue like that fairly and squarely to 
the patient,” as promised by Father A. Bonnar, or that “ they 
would be told quite clearly that the doctor was not prepared 
to carry out the wishes of the patient or relatives, but that there 
were plenty of other members of the medical profession avail¬ 
able if necessary.” u 

On the contrary, many objected that Catholic morality on 



DUAL NATURE OF CATHOLICS 


107 

this subject seemed to mean no morality at all, which was 
correct. For these kinds of assurances were mere subterfuges. 
Catholic doctors were adamant in upholding just the opposite 
view. The sending of patients to non-Catholic doctors to 
perform, for instance, a therapeutic abortion, 

gives scandal to a serious degree both to the patient and to the physician 
to whom he refers the patient, since he gives other human beings the 
opportunity to do the wrong which he knows he cannot in conscience do 
himself. This is true, regardless of whether either is a Catholic, since 
the natural divine moral law is binding upon all . 25 

It was in consequence of this that numerous English town 
councils asked the Government that “ from now on it will be 
essential, in justice to all parents who are not Catholics, that 
their religious persuasion [of the medical staff] should be 
known.” This particularly on account of the grave “ alarm at 
the possibility of staffs following the Pope’s edicts.” 26 

Questions were asked in the House of Commons and in the 
Chambers of Deputies in France, Belgium, and Holland. In 
the U.S-A-, local and Federal authorities were interrogated in 
connexion with taking safety measures about Catholic laws not 
being enforced upon Protestants by Catholic staffs. Even in 
Japan the Government was asked to take similar steps to safe¬ 
guard the rights of Japanese husbands whose wives were 
attending Catholic hospitals. 

The issue of Catholics owing their allegiance not to their 
government but to the Pope is thus not confined to the 
theoretical or religious fields. It can become, and very often 
is, a problem of the most cogent and immediate concern for 
both the individual and society as a whole. A wise State, 
therefore, in addition to bestowing particular attention on all 
Catholics in its midst, should keep a constant watch upon the 
behaviour of citizens who, by considering themselves bound to 
obey the laws of their Church, believe themselves entitled to 
disregard those enacted by the people. 



7 

SUBJECTS OF THE CHURCH, FIRST— 
CITIZENS OF THE STATE, SECOND 

C atholics, having to obey laws 
enacted in Rome, must act accord¬ 
ing to such laws. Their enforce¬ 
ment is restricted neither to religion nor to moral problems. 
It trespasses across social boundaries. By raising grave social 
issues, it clashes with the individual faced with a double 
loyalty, with the society charged with dealing with such laws, 
and with the State whose authority they challenge. 

The contention that, by binding only Catholic consciences, 
they do not infringe upon those of the State, is erroneous, 
dishonest, and untrue. They bind not only individual 
Catholics as individuals, not only Catholics as professional 
men—e.g. doctors forced to respect the precise laws laid down 
for them by the Church—but also Catholics as legislators, and 
hence as leaders of a party, of a government, and of a State. 

This means that Catholic laws must be obeyed by politicians 
who are Catholics, be they town-councillors or premiers, and 
that, because they are Catholics, they must disregard the laws 
of the State to obey those of their Church. 

When this occurs the clash between the laws of the Church 
and those of the State is neither restricted to the theoretical 
field nor does it remain the concern of the conscience of 

xos 



SUBJECTS OF THE CHURCH, FIRST—CITIZENS, SECOND IO 9 

individual Catholics. It becomes a public concern: the concern 
of the State, and hence the concern of the people. For it is 
against the authority of the people that the laws of the Church 
are enacted and enforced. 

The moral laws of the Church, by binding the conscience of 
Catholic doctors, are enforced in the medical profession by 
Catholics who are also doctors. They, when employed by the 
State, are hired as doctors who agree to the contract, with all 
its obligations, offered to them by the State. The Catholic 
Church, however, can intervene, and, by so doing, force the 
doctor to violate the agreement and be untrue to his contract. 
All this in virtue of the fact that the doctor, as a Catholic, is 
conscience-bound to bow before the authority of his Church 
in preference to that of the State. 

Precisely the same obligation is incumbent upon individuals 
engaged in public administration or in the government of 
a nation. Laws which the individual, as a politician concerned 
with the welfare of the people, judges to be worthy of enact¬ 
ment, must be modified or even entirely abandoned by this 
same individual, because the Catholic Church frowns on or 
disapproves of them. He is bound to scrap them because the 
Catholic in him comes before the citizen. Which means that 
loyalty to his Church replaces that due to the State. In short, 
that he must bow before the laws of the Church by forsaking 
those of the State, thus acting as a Catholic first and as a citizen 
second. 

Occurrences of this kind are by no means rare. They happen 
more frequently than is generally realized. And the lengths 
to which the loyalty of a Catholic administrator can be 
stretched, by the demands of his Church, would seem unbe¬ 
lievable were they not true. 

A most striking example occurred in Catholic Ireland. 

Some time in 1949 the Irish Government appointed Dr. Noel 
Browne Minister of Health. Within eighteen months the new 
Minister had reorganized, improved, and streamlined the Irish 
Health Service to a degree never achieved before. He had 
abolished queueing for tubercular treatment, provided financial 
help for tubercular patients and their dependants, provided 
sanatorium treatment for all waiting patients. He launched a 
^20,000,000 hospital scheme, designed to give Ireland one of 



IIO 


SUBJECTS OE THE CHURCH, FIRST— 

the most up-to-date hospital services in the world. This com¬ 
prised a national cancer service, a nutritional survey, and, last 
but not least, a Mother and Child scheme. In fact, the last 
was the most important of all. The reason was an obvious 
one: Ireland’s infantile death-rate was the blackest reproach 
to the Irish nation, being the worst in the whole of Europe. 
During the previous fifty years all other countries had at least 
halved the death-rate, many bringing it down by more than 
three-quarters. “Ireland alone is a clear exception to this 
rule,” stated a World Health Organization report, based upon 
the dramatic disclosure that Ireland’s death-rate was still 
seventy-five per cent of the rate common at the end of the last 
century—an infantile death-rate nearly treble that of England 
and Wales—i.e. eighty-three per thousand against thirty. 

It was this incredible infant-sacrifice that had prompted the 
Health Minister to begin his new Mother and Child scheme. 
The scheme was designed to give medical services free to all 
mothers and children, without any Means Test, to provide 
mothers with specialist gynaecological care, and to give health 
education to both. To avoid friction with the religious 
authorities, the Health Minister specified in advance that the 
“ education ” would be physical and not moral. Doctors, it 
was directed, were to help in the promotion of these new 
measures. 

As in Britain and the U.S.A., so also in Ireland, the medical 
profession was once more true to its reputation and proved to 
be far more concerned with money-making than with social 
welfare. Strongly objecting to the free-for-all medical scheme, 
it put up a most rabidly bitter opposition. The Health 
Minister, having guessed the medical reaction, had already 
taken steps to circumvent their objections, steps which enabled 
him confidently to go ahead with the scheme. 

At this point, again as in Britain and the U.S.A., the Irish 
medical profession found its cause championed by a most for¬ 
midable ally: the Catholic Church. The Irish hierarchy came 
challengingly to the fore, lined up against the Health Minister, 
and defiantly declared themselves opposed to the Mother and 
Child scheme. Their reason: the scheme “constituted a ready¬ 
made instrument of totalitarian aggression.” 

In a democracy any individual or group has the right to 



Ill 


CITIZENS OF THE STATE, SECOND 

support or to oppose the State’s measures, particularly when 
convinced that democratic tenets are endangered. Their 
Lordships, the Irish bishops, therefore, were within their rights 
in opposing the scheme. Which they did. But when the 
hierarchy came to the fore to save Irish democracy from 44 a 
ready-made instrument of totalitarian aggression,” in the name 
of a dictatorship, then even the most light-hearted Irishman, 
particularly if married and once or repeatedly a father, was 
bound to raise an eyebrow at their Lordships’ unexpected 
democratic crusading fervour. 

The Mother and Child scheme had been condemned by 
them, not in obedience to the clamour of the poor Irish expec¬ 
tant mothers, indignantly objecting to the State’s wanting 
them to have all the care and attention that all prospective 
mothers are entitled to have, but because the scheme did not 
fit in with the dicta of a bachelor in Rome—namely, with the 
teaching of the Pope. 

According to Papal injunctions, the right to provide for the 
health of children belonged to the parents, and not to the 
State. Their Lordships, from the very start, made this quite 
clear in their declarations. Whether the parents could or 
could not pay the stiff medical fees, or even feed their children 
properly, their Lordships did not even deign to mention. 
Theirs is the care of souls, not of bodies. 

The decrees of the Church having to be blindly obeyed, the 
Mother and Child scheme had to be wholly scrapped, was their 
verdict. This on the ground that “ it would deprive ninety per 
cent of parents of their rights, because of ten per cent of negli¬ 
gent or necessitous parents.” To tax the whole community 
“ on the pretext of relieving the necessitous ten per cent was 
iniquitous,” they declared, with genuine Christian compassion. 

Thereupon, making a truly exceptional gesture, they paid a 
generous tribute to democratic practice and graciously con¬ 
descended to enlighten with a few explanations those—the 
majority—whose minds had been rendered opaque to the light 
of Catholic theology by villainous convictions. Among these, 
that a bunch of scarlet-robed bachelors like their Lordships 
knew nothing about motherhood, family, and all the responsi¬ 
bilities connected with not only conceiving, but caring for, 
feeding, clothing, and educating children in a practical fashion, 

E 



TX2 SUBJECTS OF THE CHURCH, FIRST— 

and not in the abstract, from desolately silent episcopal 
palaces. 

Papal teaching rules that physical education, in addition to 
religious education, belongs to the family and not to the State, 
the hierarchy emphasized. Education in connexion with 
motherhood implied instruction concerning sex-relations, mar¬ 
riage, chastity, and like matters. This was not the competence 
of the Health Minister or, even less, of the State, because it 
was that of the Church. Gynaecological care must not be given 
to any Irish mother by the State because it might include pro¬ 
vision for birth control, birth limitation, abortion, and so on, 
practices wholly condemned by the Church. Finally, their 
Lordships ruled against the Health Scheme because “ the 
elimination of private medical practitioners by a State-paid 
service has not been shown to be necessary or even advan¬ 
tageous to the patient, the public, and, above all, to the 
medical profession.” 1 

That was not all. Their Lordships, in matters of authority, 
are exceedingly practical people. After their outright rejection 
of the scheme, they set up an inquisitional court, composed of 
the Archbishop of Dublin, the Bishop of Ferns, and the Bishop 
of Galway. Thereupon, having summoned the Health Minister 
before it, they duly interrogated him. Dr. Browne explained. 
The scheme did not go against any teaching of the Catholic 
Church, their Excellencies could rest assured. He was a 
Catholic himself, and had thought out very carefully all the 
implications involved in the Mother and Child scheme. He 
rebutted the hierarchy’s argument, point by point. First, the 
“ ten per cent ” were really a third of the population, who were 
receiving medical aid under Means Test, from public authori¬ 
ties or charities. Secondly, “ education ” would be limited to 
telling expectant mothers only about diet and pre-natal habits 
—e.g. “ no smoking.” Gynaecological care did not imply the 
teaching of birth control, family planning, or abortion, but 
would be limited only to difficulties arising out of “ mis¬ 
managed pregnancies.” 

The Irish hierarchy had the patience to listen, and then, 
having dismissed the Health Minister, they summoned before 
their Tribunal none other than the Irish Prime Minister. Mr. 
John Costello, the Premier of a democratically elected Govern- 



CITIZENS OF THE STATE, SECOND II3 

ment, representing an independent nation, did not object to 
the summons. On the contrary, flattered, he informed the 
members of the Irish Parliament how the Archbishop of 
Dublin had “ kindly sent for ” him. The hierarchy had con¬ 
demned the scheme, he told the House, therefore the Irish 
Government, having decided to comply with the hierarchy’s 
command, had to reject the Mother and Child Health Service 
launched by Dr. Browne. 

Dr. Browne once more pointed out to both his lay and his 
hierarchical opponents that no one was compelled to use the 
scheme. To prove his case—namely, that there was no new 
principle involved—he reminded them that the Mother and 
Child scheme now proposed by him had originally derived 
from an Act of the De Valera Government some years before. 
What Dr. Browne did not say, however, was the fact known 
by most members that the scheme had never been implemented 
because of the Irish Catholic Ministers’ fear of defying the 
hierarchy’s opposition. 

His explanations were in vain. His ministerial colleagues, 
to a man, disowned him. His Party, in whose programme 
there loomed prominent the Means Test, publicly repudiated 
him. 

The Irish Prime Minister had to forgo his rights and duties 
as the citizen of an independent nation and as a member of a 
democratically elected Government in order not to violate 
his allegiance to his Church. “As a Catholic, I obey my 
Church authorities, and will continue to do so,” he declared 
to the members of Parliament. “There is going to be no 
flouting of the Bishops on Catholic morals and social teaching,” 
confirmed the Irish Labour Leader, Mr. William Norton. “ In 
Ireland a conflict between the spiritual and temporal authori¬ 
ties is damaging to national unity,” added Mr. MacBride, the 
Party Leader and External Affairs Minister, brusquely ordering 
his Ministerial and Party colleague, Dr. Browne, to surrender 
his office. 

At such mass surrender to the dicta of the Catholic Church 
numerous leading members, including Deputies of the Dail, 
resigned outright their Party allegiance in protest against such 
unbelievable behaviour. The last straw, however, had yet to 
come: 



T X4 SUBJECTS OF THE CHURCH, FIRST— 

As a Catholic, I accept the ruling of their Lordships, the Hierarchy, 
without question, 

finally declared Dr. Browne himself, rescinding the Health 
Service and resigning. 2 

At this, several daring Deputies got up in Parliament and 
openly protested that the Government of a democratic country 
was not being exercised by the elected representatives of the 
people, but by bishops meeting secretly and enforcing their 
views on ministers and hence on the whole nation. 3 

But the will of the Church had prevailed. And that was 
that. 

When the Bishops made their declaration on the moral principles 
involved in a proposed scheme [commented a leading Catholic organ in 
England], its promoter immediately recognized their right to speak on 
the subject, and accepted it as axiomatic that the Government would 
not wish to do what the Church considered wrong . 4 

“ It is absolutely right and just,” declared another. 5 

The moral implication of this astounding Irish case was but 
one: the laws of the Catholic Church were above those of the 
State. “ We wish that were true of contemporary England,” 
was the revealing comment of the English hierarchy.® 

“ We wish that were true of our country ” is the perennial 
wish of all the Catholic hierarchies the world over. And theirs 
is anything but a mere wish. It is the very spirit by which 
all their exertions are intrinsically impregnated; the ultimate 
objective of all their ceaseless activities. As such, it should not 
be lightly dismissed. For, as the Irish hierarchy have so 
forcibly demonstrated, the heavy hand of the Catholic Church 
can still foil the will of the people, wherever and whenever her 
hierarchies are permitted to speak with an authority which 
should, and must, belong only to the State. 


In the Irish case the Church, having enforced her laws above 
those of the State, compelled her members to act as Catholics 
first and as citizens second. There are cases, however, when 
she boldly claims that a Catholic’s first allegiance is due to hex 
simply because he is a Catholic. Hence that a Catholic, in 
virtue of his being a Catholic, must obey the laws of the 



CITIZENS OF THE STATE, SECOND 115 

Church and disregard those of the State, should the latter 
claim to come first. 

Such a claim is put forward not only when both the citizens 
and the State are Catholic: they are made independently of 
the religious affiliation of the civil authority or government. 

A case in point occurred in Malta. 

Malta is a Catholic island. It has a predominantly Catholic 
population. It is frequently governed by a predominantly 
Catholic government. But Malta is also a British colony, and 
hence it is under Protestant rulership.- 

At the time of the contest the British Governor who was 
acting as the Maltese Prime Minister happened to be a Catholic 
himself. The case, therefore, assumed an exceptional signifi¬ 
cance in that, while the disputed citizen was a Catholic, the 
Maltese Prime Minister, also a member of the Church, was 
acting simultaneously as the British Governor representing the 
mandatory power—i.e. Protestant England. 

Unlike the previous- case, here Catholic individuals refused 
to put loyalty to their Church first. The Church’s reaction 
deserves close attention, as it brought to light the question of 
Church and State in its crudest form, die significance of 
Catholic claims being even more ominous than in the Irish 
example. 

Towards the end of 1928 Father G. Micallef, a Franciscan 
friar, was banished by his Superior from Malta to Sicily. The 
friar, believing the banishment unfair, refused to leave and 
appealed to the Government for protection. The Government 
accepted the appeal and passed a resolution asking the Vatican 
to appoint a representative to inquire into the case. The 
resolution was duly adopted by the Legislative Assembly on 
January 24, 1929. Two months later, in March, the Prime 
Minister, Lord Strickland, quashed the sentence, on the 
grounds that a British subject could not be expelled from 
British territory by a “ foreign power ”—i.e. the Vatican. 

The incident brought to the fore, in concrete form, the old 
slippery question of the power of the Church vis-a-vis that of 
the State. Following the quashing of the sentence, the Head 
of the Maltese hierarchy came into the open and publicly 
denounced the action taken by Lord Strickland. This resulted 
in all the churches on the island soon echoing with denuncia- 



II6 SUBJECTS OF THE CHURCH, FIRST— 

tions of the Government. Lord Strickland protested that, this 
being a legal issue affecting the authority of the State, the 
attacks made against him from all pulpits were unfair and 
unjust. The Maltese hierarchy, he claimed, were not justified 
in their behaviour and were exploiting their religious powers 
in a purely legal issue between Church and State. Thereupon 
he appealed to the Vatican. 

The following month, April, the Vatican sent an Apostolic 
Delegate to investigate the case. The Apostolic Delegate’s con¬ 
clusion: the Maltese Government was in the wrong. His 
advice to the Maltese bishops: continue to fight Lord Strick¬ 
land. Lord Strickland appealed to the Vatican against the 
Apostolic Delegate. The Vatican replied in the person of none 
other than its Secretary of State. His verdict: Lord Strickland 
was in the wrong. His orders: the Maltese hierarchy must 
continue and increase their pressure upon the Government, 
whose decision was absolutely inconsistent with the authority 
due to the Church. 

Lord Strickland rejected the decision of the Vatican’s Secre¬ 
tary of State and went in person to Rome, where he asked to be 
received by the Pope. The Pope refused to see him. 

Lord Strickland, determined to put his case before public 
opinion in spite of his Church, wrote a memorandum, setting 
down the Government’s case and disowning the decisions of 
the Maltese bishops, of the Apostolic Delegate, and of the 
Secretary of State. The memorandum was widely publicized, 
and additional fuel was thus added to the fire. Once Lord 
Strickland was back in Malta, a resolution against ecclesiastical 
interference in civil matters was passed by the Legislature that 
same month, with a strongly worded protest signed by all the 
Maltese Ministers, which was forwarded to London, for trans¬ 
mission to the Pope. 

The British Government, after having pondered over the 
case, in August lodged an even stronger protest at the Vatican. 
The Vatican, as a reply, ordered the Maltese hierarchy to 
tighten still more the screws on the Maltese Government. On 
December n the Archbishop of Malta threatened with the 
severest penalties anyone, Catholic priest or layman, who 
should maintain that the Government was right and the 
Church was wrong. 



CITIZENS OF THE STATE, SECOND 117 

The situation began to go from bad to worse. A few days 
later the Prime Minister reviewed the situation in the Chamber, 
referring the gravity of the issue to the British Government. 
The British Government, hoping to reach some kind of com¬ 
promise, began negotiating for a Concordat for Malta. The 
Vatican proved as uncompromising as it was with the Maltese 
Government, and soon the negotiations reached a deadlock. 
Great Britain made it clear that, unless the Vatican ordered its 
priests in Malta to cease interfering with the political life of 
the island, the British Government would not consider reaching 
any agreement with the Church, via either a Concordat, 
a modus vivendi, or in any other way. The Vatican, as a 
counter-reply, asked the British Government for the dismissal 
of Lord Strickland. 

The British Government refused, and ordered Lord Strick¬ 
land to continue in his policy. The Vatican commanded the 
Maltese Church to increase its pressure still further. On May i, 
1930, the Archbishop of Malta issued a letter to all the Catholic 
clergy, ordering them to refuse the sacraments to anyone who 
should vote for, or intended to vote for or support, Lord 
Strickland’s Party in the coming elections. To give a vote to 
Lord Strickland or his Government, warned the Archbishop, 
would be “ a mortal sin.” 

This, it should be noted, was not the beginning, but the 
culmination of the religious pressure which the Maltese 
hierarchy had been conducting for some time, using purely 
religious instruments—e.g. the confessional. Priests had, in 
fact, for months been telling their penitents to oppose a 
Government which was against the Church. A misuse of 
religion, . this, which solicited protests, even from many 
Catholics. 

The Maltese Government declared the interference of the 
Catholic Church intolerable, stating that the Archbishop’s 
order amounted to an open interference with the liberty of 
parliamentary elections, and, indeed, was tantamount to a 
claim to make and unmake ministers and governments. And 
they appealed to the British Crown. 

On May 30 the British Government gave an ultimatum to 
the Vatican’s Secretary of State. Unless the Vatican withdrew 
its ever more pressing demands that the Maltese Premier be 



1X8 SUBJECTS OF THE CHURCH, FIRST— 

removed from office, unless it restored complete freedom to the 
Maltese electorate by ordering the Maltese hierarchy to lift the 
excommunication penalty, unless it withdrew the astounding 
claim that Catholic priests must not be sued before a lay 
tribunal without ecclesiastical permission, the British Govern¬ 
ment would take appropriate measures and, indeed, was 
determined to stop all kinds of negotiations with the Vatican 
itself. 

The Maltese hierarchy renewed their war, and within a short 
period succeeded in bringing the Catholic population to such 
a fever-pitch that an attempt was made on the life of Lord 
Strickland, who escaped unhurt. 

Members of the Government and many Catholics proposed 
that a Service of Thanksgiving for Lord Strickland s safety 
should be given in the Cathedral. The Archbishop promptly 
refused to comply with this request and prevented the service 
from taking place. 

The British Government, in view of the uncompromising 
attitude of the Vatican, which stubbornly refused to withdraw 
its religious blackmail of the Maltese electorate, rather than 
have the election under Catholic pressure, postponed it and, in 
June, 1930, suspended the Constitution. 

On that same day—and this was no coincidence—the Pope 
summoned all cardinals present in Rome and, during a solemn 
allocution, repeated once more in Papal parlance that the 
authority of the Catholic Church was definitely and unalter¬ 
ably above that of the State, and that all Catholics were 
conscience-bound to obey their Church first, and to fight the 
State when this was opposed to the laws of the Church. 

The issue had become that of the old fight between the 
claims of the Church and those of a modern government, with 
all its wider implications. The problem found its way again 
into the House of Commons in Britain, where it was amply 
discussed and debated. 

In June, 1932, Lord Strickland startled many of his sup¬ 
porters, both in Malta and in England, by declaring that he 
had been wrong in opposing the claims of the Catholic 
Church. More, he went out of his way to make a formal 
apology to the Vatican for his past opposition. Lord Strick¬ 
land, the unyielding defender of the authority of the State, had 



CITIZENS OF THE STATE, SECOND 119 

thus been ignominiously defeated by Lord Strickland, the pious 
member of his Church. A Prime Minister had been compelled 
to meet his Canossa, as an individual Catholic under the 
spiritual duress of his Church. Another striking reminder 
that Catholics are Catholics first and that, even when consider¬ 
ing the authority of the State as paramount, to save their souls 
they are forced by their spiritual leader to disown the civil 
authorities to whom all loyal citizens should owe undisputed 
allegiance. 


To believe that the Irish and Maltese cases are exceptions 
would be to make the gravest of errors. They are typical 
instances of the attitude put forward by the Catholic Church 
in connexion with her unabated claim that the allegiance of all 
her members is due to her first and to the State second. 

Such claims are as binding on Catholics of today as they 
were on the Irish in 1950, or on the Maltese in 1930, or, 
indeed, on the German emperors in the thirteenth century, or 
for all Catholics before them. Having remained basically 
unchanged, they are not confined to specific cases. They violate 
the loyalty of each individual Catholic, whether a member of 
a Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, or non-Christian profession, 
community, State, or race. These claims are not theoretical; 
they are specific, concrete, and real. As such, they ask 
obedience in specific, concrete, and real problems affecting the 
authority of the State, which Catholics must forgo, disregard, 
and repudiate to obey the commands of their Church. 

That the Catholic Church should dare to put forward such 
claims upon all her members—who are simultaneously citizens 
of a society harbouring sovereign communities, regulated by 
the authority of the modern State—and that there should be 
individuals who take her authority as being above that of the 
State, and consequently must be ready to obey it first, even if 
by so doing they go against the State, is no less true because 
it is astounding. 

Concrete instances are countless. Catholic laws can force 
Catholics to violate the laws of the civil authorities whether 
they are street-sweepers or judges of the Supreme Court. 

It might be more useful if, perhaps, instead of selecting a 



120 


SUBJECTS OF THE CHURCH, FIRST— 

case at random, we choose a profession which, by its very 
nature, could not be more intimately connected with the 
observance and enforcement of the laws of the State: the 
profession of the Magistracy. 

Magistrates and judges, whether at the lowest or at the 
highest step of the ladder, by the mere fact that they are 
members of the judicial profession are in conscience bound, 
perhaps more than any other citizen, not to forgo the laws of 
the State. More, to observe them to the utmost of their 
capacity, as individuals, as members of the legal profession, as 
civil magistrates, as officials of the State, as dispensers of the 
State’s justice, as enforcers of the State’s authority, and, last but 
not least, as the most loyal, incorruptible and trustworthy 
servants of the State. 

A magistrate who is a Catholic, however, cannot be any of 
these things. No State can trust him to be either loyal, incor¬ 
ruptible, or trustworthy. Even less to dispense, administer, and 
enforce its laws as impartially as justice demands. Reason: the 
magistrate is not a citizen-magistrate first; he is a Catholic 
member of his Church first, a citizen-magistrate second. 

Hence the laws which he must administer are not above all. 
They are under those of his Church. When they conflict with 
the latter he must forgo those of the State, which he is supposed 
to enforce, in order to implement those of his Church. 

The Catholic who is also a magistrate or a judge, therefore, 
by obeying his Church first, becomes a disloyal citizen, a 
treacherous magistrate, and a betrayer of the trust bestowed 
upon him by the State. 

This is so because the obligation applicable to all Catholics 
—blind obedience to their Church as the ultimate authority in 
“ faith and morals ”—is applicable equally to them. In addi¬ 
tion to which they must obey injunctions specifically applicable 
to the juridical profession, in so far as their Church claims to 
be the ultimate authority also in the juridical field, because 
“ juridical activity remains included in fullness in the Church’s 
life,” as Pope Pius XII declared. 7 

What is the real meaning of this? That the Catholic who 
is also a judge must obey the laws of his Church instead of 
those of the State; must apply the laws of his Church upon the 
citizens of the State that employs him as a judge to enforce the 



CITIZENS OF THE STATE, SECOND 121 

State’s laws, not upon citizens who are Catholics or members 
of any other Church, but upon citizens who are subject only to 
the laws of the State and not to the laws of any specific 
denomination. 

One typical injunction whose concreteness is its most specific 
attribute is the one compelling Catholic judges—all Catholic 
judges, it should be noted—to disregard the laws of the State 
in obedience to those of the Catholic Church. Here is the 
official Papal pronouncement: 

A judge may never oblige any person to perform an act contrary to 
the law of God or of His Church [read, the Catholic Church]. . . . 
Wherefore he cannot pronounce a penal sentence which would be 
equivalent to approval of such a law . 8 

In other words, Catholic judges, whether citizens of a Com¬ 
munist, Democratic, Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, or even 
non-Christian nation, are explicitly forbidden to obey the laws 
of their country if such laws do not harmonize with those of 
their Church. 

Now, should a government engaged in certain overdue 
reforms pass laws which, in the eyes of the Catholic Church, 
are wrong, what happens? A Catholic judge charged by the 
State to implement its laws is conscience-bound to forfeit the 
laws of the State, because his Church does not approve of them. 

The Chinese Communists, while fighting their way to power, 
implemented long-overdue agrarian reforms, seizing land, 
redistributing it to small cultivators, reducing taxation—e.g. 
from die fifty per cent to eighty per cent of peasant crops under 
Chiang Kai Shek to fifteen per cent under Mao-Tse-Tung 9 — 
a policy, this, which they legalized throughout China once they 
were installed in Peking. A Chinese Catholic judge—and 
there still were Chinese Catholic judges—refused to carry out 
such laws, because his Church declared them unjust. 

It might be said that China is a non-Christian land and that 
a Catholic judge is an exception. Let us return to Europe. 
Similar land reforms were carried out, also following the 
Second World War, in Hungary, where only 12,000 land- 
owners owned more than half the land. One-third of the 
agricultural land was given to 642,000 peasant families, each 
peasant family receiving about seven and a half acres. The 



122 SUBJECTS OF THE CHURCH, FIRST— 

Catholic Church put up a furious resistance, proclaiming the 
land-reform laws unfair, unjust, and a breach of the most 
sacred laws of God and man. Catholic judges sitting on Hun¬ 
garian benches, after such a condemnation, were conscience- 
bound to regard the laws of the Hungarian State as unlawful 
and hence refuse to implement them. 

The fact that the Catholic Church, behind her high-sounding 
moral principles, very often hides the crudest self-interest is 
ignored altogether. This was proved in tire case of the Hun¬ 
garian land-reforms, where the Church’s high moral indigna¬ 
tion had been prompted, not by theoretical claims of aloof 
justice, but by the concrete fact that she was herself the largest 
single landowner in the whole of Hungary, owning nothing 
less than 1,128,000 acres of the best land. Most of it was in 
large estates owned by the bishops, abbots, and higher clergy. 
Additional, but not coincidental, to this first interesting dis¬ 
closure was a second. The next largest Hungarian landowner, 
after the Church, was one of her most devout sons, a member 
of the nobility and an intimate friend of the Hungarian 
Cardinal Primate, as we shall see later on. The Hungarian 
Government, although claiming to be inspired neither by 
Christian nor by Catholic principles, and although composed 
of Communists, Agnostics, and Atheists, acted on genuine, 
unadulterated Christian doctrines. Having distributed the 
seized land to landless peasants, it left the by no means despic¬ 
able figure of 100,000 acres to their Lordships, the Hungarian 
hierarchy, plus 25,000 acres to be equally distributed among the 
very poor Catholic clergy. To the humble followers of Jesus 
Christ of the first few centuries this would have meant Chris¬ 
tianity in action. To the Christians of the twentieth century 
it was unjust, diabolical, and anti-Christian. The Pope, from 
the splendours of the Vatican, prohibited Catholics to support 
such laws under pain of hell-fire, and thereupon ruled that 
Catholic judges must not implement them, lest they be 
unfavourably judged in the Last Judgment. 

It might be objected that the Chinese and Hungarian 
Governments, whether they acted like the primitive Christians 
or not, were not Christian, and therefore were ipso facto in the 
wrong. Although such an objection could not stand any 
serious challenge were it pointed out that governments com- 



CITIZENS OF THE STATE, SECOND 123 

posed entirely of Catholics expropriated all the land and 
property of the Catholic Church, in the last and also in this 
century, in precisely the same manner as did the Communists, 
and in such Catholic countries as France, Italy, and Portugal, 
a less objectionable example might assuage the consciences of 
the most scrupulous. Let us, therefore, take a case where the 
dicta of the Catholic Church are enforced upon and against 
those of the State, not in any Asiatic or European country 
enacting exceptionally drastic laws, to cope with exceptionally 
abnormal situations, but indiscriminately everywhere. 

Most countries throughout the world, Christian and non- 
Christian, have legalized divorce. Laws have been passed to 
that effect. Judges employed by the State must implement 
such laws. Divorce cannot be called either a drastic, excep¬ 
tional, or unjust measure taken unilaterally by the modern 
State enacting laws hostile to human or divine justice. The 
majority of the human race have accepted it as a fair institu¬ 
tion. Except for the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church 
has condemned it. Hence Catholic judges must not accept, 
grant, or legalize it. 

The Pope leaves no doubts about it: 

To take a particular case [he said], a Catholic judge cannot pronounce 
a sentence of civil divorce, when it is a question of a marriage that is 
valid before God and His Church . 10 

In other words. Catholic judges, whether in super-Catholic 
Fascist Spain, in mixed Calvinistic, Lutheran, Catholic Swit¬ 
zerland, in Protestant England, the United States, or in non- 
Christian Japan, are barred from granting divorce in all valid 
marriages. By so doing a judge or a lawyer who disobeys the 
laws of his country in order to obey those of his Church is, to 
quote the Pope once more, “ the ideal of a perfect lawyer.” 

These declarations aroused the gravest concern in political 
and legal circles everywhere, and, in fact, created a commotion, 
particularly in Britain and the U.S.A. 

But this is not all. Non-Catholic governments, judges, and 
lawyers had taken it for granted that the Pope meant to have 
such a rule applied only when Catholic judges dealt with speci¬ 
fically Catholic marriages. In reply to the many inquiries to 
this effect, the Vatican came forth with one of the most 



124 SUBJECTS OF THE CHURCH, FIRST— 

ominous declarations made for centuries. It officially stated 
that the Catholic Church was empowered to prohibit divorce 
of Protestants as well. Replying to questions put by American 
bishops, the Holy Office decreed that baptism conferred by 
Protestant sects is valid as Catholic baptism in the eyes of the 
Catholic Church. 11 The ruling meant that Catholic judges are 
barred from granting divorce to Protestants, whose baptism is 
recognized as valid and whose marriage is therefore accepted. 

Catholics in office in Protestant countries, consequently, must 
disobey the law of the State, not solely when dealing with other 
Catholics, but also when dealing with Protestants who recog¬ 
nize divorce, and who submit to the law of the State, while an 
authority which they refuse to recognize—i.e. the Catholic 
Church—tells them that they must obey her laws, and not 
those of their country. 

These are the claims of the pre-Reformation, put forward in 
concrete shape in the twentieth century. 

Their gravity is soon realized when it is remembered that 
in Protestant countries Catholics have reached the highest legal 
positions. In the U.S.A. there are High Court judges who are 
Catholics. In England no fewer than three High Court judges 
were Catholics at the time of such decrees. 12 

The ruling of the Pope was meant, and was taken, literally 
in Catholic and in Protestant countries. In Catholic Peru the 
Society of Catholic Lawyers, led by the Supreme Court Chief 
Justice and Judges, pledged themselves to carry out their duty 
“ in accordance with Catholic morality,” while in Protestant 
England Catholic lawyers were called upon “ to uphold the 
solid Christian doctrine of the law of God as against the 
supremacy of man.” 13 

Some Catholics rebelled against such a conception, and were 
promptly reprimanded—e.g. District Judge Luis Armijo, from 
Las Vegas, N.M., who, on hearing of the Pope’s ruling, 
summed up his reaction with a curt comment: “ I may be a 
Catholic,” he declared, “ but I am a citizen of the U.S.A. first.” 
“ Judge Armijo,” wrote a leading American Catholic organ, 
one of the foremost American authorities on such matters, “ in 
fourteen short words has managed to distort the meaning both 
of what it is to be a Catholic and what it is to be a U.S. citizen. 
. . . Being a Catholic . . . involves such things as personal con- 



CITIZENS OF THE STATE, SECOND 125 

viction, belief, and conscience. When a man is a Catholic, it 
should be because he couldn’t be anything else and remain true 
to himself. Obviously that comes first. The real glory 
attached to being a citizen of the U.S.A. is that it always comes 
second. Being a Catholic comes first. That is what being a 
Catholic means. Being a citizen of the U.S.A. comes second.” 14 

That is precisely the position of every Catholic citizen, in 
whichever country he lives. His claim is based upon the fact 
that “ the Church of Christ is wholly independent of every 
civil power . . . possessing power peculiar to herself, both legis¬ 
lative and judicial.” 15 Furthermore, that “ the faithful, 
whenever found, are subject to the Church, and not to the will 
of the State.” 16 While the Pope is “ the Supreme Judge, even 
of civil laws, and therefore is incapable of being under any true 
obligation to them.” 17 Consequently, “ the Christian people, 
to whatever nation they belong, if subjects of the State as things 
temporal, are also subjects of the Pope as things spiritual, and 
more of the Pope than of the State.” 18 

As already mentioned, this applies not only to Catholics, but 
also to Orthodox and to Protestants, because “every baptized 
person is more the subject of the Pope than he is of any earthly 
governor whatever.” 19 

Concluding, no matter what the individual Catholic may 
say, the essence of his status in the eyes of his Church is that, 
whether he is a judge, a lawyer, a doctor, or, indeed, anything 
else, he automatically is a member of the Church first, and a 
citizen of his country second. 


These portentous claims are not confined to specific matters 
concerning “ faith and morals.” They trespass into the political 
field, on the ground that issues dealing with faith and morals 
touch political problems. Hence the obligation on the part of 
Catholics to follow the dicta of their Church on purely political 
ground, and the enforcement of the Church’s laws upon her 
members also in the political field. 

One of these, as already mentioned, was the decree issued 
against Catholics who supported or belonged to the Com¬ 
munist party, or who approved of any Communist government 
or even wrote in or read Communist papers; anyone doing that 



126 


SUBJECTS OF THE CHURCH, FIRST— 

being excommunicated, deprived of the sacraments and associa¬ 
tion with the faithful. 20 

Like Catholic decrees in other fields, diis one also did not 
remain merely theoretical. Being a concrete injunction, it 
produced concrete reverberations. For, as a result of it, 
thousands of Catholics in many lands had to boycott a political 
movement because the Church did violence to their religious 
feeling. That is, they had to abandon a political credo to 
maintain a religious one. As long as the dilemma was con¬ 
fined to where Communist parties were one of the many 
parties, the conflict remained almost academic, although with 
not inconsiderable political results. But when the 60,000,000 
Catholics living under Communist governments in North, 
Central, and Eastern Europe or in China tried to follow their 
Church’s instructions, then the loyalty test became more 
ominous. They had to consider whether they were members 
of the Church first and citizens of their country second. If 
loyalty to the Church came first, then they had to be disloyal to 
the State. If the State came first, then they had to be disloyal 
to their Church. Many had no doubts and, considering them¬ 
selves members of the Church first, opposed the party, the 
government, and the State by words and deeds, and the law of 
the State fell upon them. The vast majority were put in a 
painful dilemma and tried somehow to evade the issue by a 
vague, tacit, if awkward, acceptance of both. Others, a 
minority, considered themselves citizens of their country first 
and members of the Church second, and were promptly excom¬ 
municated. 

To those who consider a Communist State a tyranny, the 
attitude of the Catholic Church to Communism, and the 
behaviour of those who obey her decrees instead of those of a 
Communist State, are not only praiseworthy but commendable. 
Any lover of freedom should approve of such a Catholic atti¬ 
tude. This argument loses some of its potency, however, when 
it is remembered that the Catholic Church used the same 
anathemas, prohibitions, and religious pressure to destroy what 
only half a century ago she branded as the “ godless ” enemies 
of religion, of freedom, of society, and, indeed, of the human 
race: namely, the principles of Separation of Church and State, 
of Liberalism, and even of Democracy. These ideologies, 



CITIZENS OF THE STATE, SECOND I 27 

“ worse than pestilence ” then to the Catholic Church, were 
exactly what Communism is now. 

The argument is further weakened when it is pointed out 
that the Catholic Church does not exert her authority only 
when dealing with Communist “ tyrannies.” She claims it to 
be her divine right to exercise the same pressure to enforce her 
laws upon Catholics who are citizens of democratic countries, 
as the instances of Malta, Ireland, and of judges everywhere 
have clearly proved. The result is that Catholics, to obey their 
Church’s orders, must become disloyal to their democratic 
governments, to democratic principles, and to the community 
—in short, to the society standing upon tenets proclaiming the 
freedom of conscience, of worship, of speech, and so on. 

Consequently it follows that the Pope, by forcing Catholics 
to obey his injunctions, does violence to the democratic convic¬ 
tions and duties of citizens who are Catholics, and hence to 
the democratic functioning of a democratic society. 

In this manner, Catholics, by obeying a political authority 
surrounded by the aura of a religious one, which is frequently 
hostile to the interests of a democratic government, do actively 
forgo democracy, become actively disloyal to democratic tenets 
and practice, and, indeed, turn into potential destroyers of and 
frequently traitors to that same democratic society to which 
they should give their loyalty first. 

This, not because they are individually or intentionally 
hostile to the State as such, but simply because they have to 
submit to the lead of an alien political leader who, via religious 
and moral pressure, can employ them to further the interests 
of the Catholic Church, which they must put before any racial, 
political, or party allegiance whatsoever. 

This many will deny, arguing that there are numerous 
Catholics who do not look to the Pope for guidance, except in 
purely religious matters, but pursue independent policies of 
their own. Which is correct. But only up to a point. For, 
were we to ask them whether they accept the Pope, unques- 
tioningly and blindly, as their supreme religious leader—that 
is, in his capacity of Supreme Head of the Catholic Church— 
they will give an emphatic reply in the affirmative. 

In the light of this, let us quote the formula in which the 
Pope declares himself infallible. He is infallible when he 



128 


SUBJECTS OF THE CHURCH, FIRST— 

“ defines a doctrine regarding faith and morals .” We have 
already pointed out how certain moral issues are so intimately 
inter-related with ethical and social ones that at times they 
are inseparable. In the case of divorce, or education, or Mother 
and Child schemes, for instance. The majority of these 
problems ultimately are bound to become essentially political 
in character and function. For instance, the Catholic Church 
may tell a Catholic that it is his duty to disobey laws which 
are hostile to Catholicism, which endanger the Church or go 
against his religious convictions. Or, in extreme cases, she tells 
him that it is his duty to revolt against the civil authorities who 
enact such laws. 

It is true that, once these moral issues assume a preponder- 
andy social or political character, a Catholic is no longer 
compelled blindly to follow the Pope, but is at liberty to use 
his own reason. Such freedom can be applied only to minor 
details, however. The fundamental tenets must remain intact. 
Which means that Catholics, whether they like it or not, 
ultimately must submit to, follow, and obey the dicta of their 
Church in the political and ideological fields, independently of 
whether or not such dicta make him a rebel against the State 
of which he is an intrinsic part, as an individual citizen. 

The Pope, therefore, when seen in this light, is a power 
above all powers, a law above all laws, whose decrees can, via 
religion, influence, shape, transform, and create the most 
serious commotion in the internal and external policies of any 
given nation. 

Catholics, consequently, cannot be loyal citizens. They are 
a potential fifth-column, potential traitors to the State of which 
they are citizens, potential rebels against the society of which 
they are members. This, in virtue of the essence of their 
religious tenets and of the binding allegiance they owe to their 
religious leader. 

Such conclusions, ominously enough, were drawn by none 
other than a small minority of bishops convened at Rome to 
attend the Vatican Council (1870) and who were opposed to 
the proclamation of Papal Infallibility on these grounds. 

“ It has become abundantly evident,” they said, in a petition 
which they presented to the Pope himself and which was kept 
secret for many years, 



CITIZENS OF THE STATE, SECOND I29 

that every Catholic whose actions are ruled by the faith he professes is a 
born enemy of the state, since he finds himself bound in conscience to 
contribute as far as in him lies to the subjection of all nations and kings 
to the Roman Pontiff . 21 

That this statement is not exaggerated the Chancelleries, the 
State Departments, and the Foreign Offices of many countries 
of Europe, America, and Asia could well testify and, indeed, 
prove. 


An antagonism is thus produced between the State and the 
Catholic Church, who lays claim to universal supremacy and 
jurisdiction over persons and institutions altogether incon¬ 
sistent with the independence of nations, the sovereignty of the 
State, and the temporal authority of society. 

This antagonism, far from diminishing, is increasing; and 
now, perhaps more than formerly, owing to rapidly sharpening 
claims of global economic systems and ideological allegiances, 
is liable to break forth openly upon any occasion when the 
Church may deem it expedient to risk or to provoke a collision. 

The sum of this conflict between the authority of the State 
and the assumed supremacy of the Catholic Church is pithily 
set forth in the laconic interchange of civilities which took 
place in the year 1301 between Boniface VIII and Philip the 
Fair, of France: 

Boniface, Bishop [wrote the Pope], Servant of the Servants of God, to 
Philip, King of the French. 

Fear God and keep His commandments. We desire thee to take 
notice, that thou art subject to us both in spiritual and in temporal 
matters. . . . Those who think otherwise, we account heretics. 

Philip [rejoined the King], by the grace of God, King of the French, 
to Boniface, who enacts the Sovereign Pontiff, small greeting or none. 

Let thy superlative fatuity take notice, that we are subject to no one in 
temporal matters. . . . Those who think otherwise, we account fools 
and madmen. 

Six and a half centuries later this antagonism is the same. 
The Pope still asserts his supremacy as far as he can and dare. 
To be sure, the Catholic Church at present tries to enforce her 
sovereignty upon the members of independent nations within 
the framework of certain principles which contemporary society 
has imposed upon the external relationship of organized religion 



I30 SUBJECTS OF THE CHURCH, FIRST— 

and secular authority. Yet her claims are fundamentally the 
same, and their enforcement, although not so obvious, is con¬ 
ducted with as much obstinacy and ruthlessness as ever. 

The fact that they are made via spiritual terrorization and 
that they exert their pressure within the conscience of modern 
men should not minimize the Catholic Church’s determination 
to implement her laws above those of the State. 

The reality of her spiritual terrorization is proved by the 
concreteness of the power she has over 400,000,000 people. It 
must never be forgotten that it is through this that she can 
reach, promote, support, or condemn social and political issues 
which, although at first seemingly alien to religion, on closer 
scrutiny are intimately related to it. Armed with it, the 
Catholic Church can intervene whenever it pleases her in the 
domestic affairs of any given country, her extraordinary 
religious authority enabling her to exercise direct control over 
hundreds of millions of Catholics scattered within the borders 
of many independent nations. Such intervention by an ordinary 
State would not be tolerated, and would lead to serious compli¬ 
cations. Pressure of political ideologies from abroad can and 
does promote the mobilization of a national or international 
coalition against them—e.g. against international Fascism 
before the Second World War and against Communism after 
that war. Nothing of that kind is mobilized against the 
Catholic Church. Yet the Catholic Church can intervene, 
whenever and wherever she likes, simultaneously within many 
independent States, with or without their permission. A thing 
which no modern State can do, except by war. 

A State wanting to change its own social structure can do 
so only within its own borders, having no powers whatever 
outside them. This while simultaneously a neighbouring 
country might be enforcing opposite regulations on the same 
issue. 

The Catholic Church, however, being a “ landless and 
boundless power,” has no such limitations. Should she decide, 
say, to condemn co-education or to prohibit the use of con¬ 
traceptives, such a prohibition and condemnation must be 
accepted by ail her members, whichever State they inhabit. 

In this way she can influence social and political issues at 
will in any given nation. No State can accuse her of meddling 



CITIZENS OF THE STATE, SECOND I3I 

with its political problems without attacking her as a religious 
power. For she does not infringe the sovereign rights of any 
State. It is her duty, no less than her right, to lead the State’s 
citizens in religious matters, and if the citizens feel compelled 
by religious duty to shape their social or political ideas and 
actions in accordance with their religion, so much the better. 
The Catholic Church, as such, cannot be blamed. 

She never forcibly compels the citizens of any given country 
to move against their own will. If they act in accordance with 
her religious principles, their action is free. The Church, 
therefore, cannot be accused of interference by anyone. 

It is mainly through loopholes of this nature that the Catholic 
Church can enter the political life of nations from which she 
would otherwise be excluded. 

When she intervenes in politics in this manner—namely, 
under the cloak of religion—the modern State is helpless. It is 
unable to take the necessary measures to counteract her subtle 
political activity without infringing the religious liberty of its 
citizens. The democratic State, by its very fundamental prin¬ 
ciples of religious and political freedom, is more helpless than 
any other. For, were it to take measures to prevent Catholic 
interference in its internal affairs, the Church could claim with 
apparent reason that she was being persecuted as a religious 
institution which is above all politics. Were a State to try to 
pass laws legalizing birth control, for instance, all its Catholic 
citizens would be bound to do all in their power to prevent the 
passing of such laws. Further, it would be their duty to strive 
for the adoption by the nation of the doctrines concerning birth 
control preached by the Catholic Church. 

Thus, through pressure from his religious convictions and 
the lead of his spiritual authority a Catholic trespasses into 
social and political fields. As a free individual, enjoying the 
same civic liberties as any other citizen with different religious 
or political views, he is, of course, within his rights in opposing, 
modifying, or supporting sundry laws. But the point is that 
he has become an active political instrument, bent on furthering 
certain social or political goals, because of his religious prin¬ 
ciples. Hence it is his religious convictions which ultimately 
are responsible for his final social and political attitude and, if 
not entirely, at least to a great extent, for his active participation 



132 SUBJECTS OF THE CHURCH, FIRST— 

in the political life of his country. He thinks and acts in a 
certain way because his religious leader has ordered him to do 
so. Thus the ultimate instigator of the political actions of our 
Catholic citizen is the Catholic Church and her head, the Pope. 

It might be argued that citizens of other religious denomina¬ 
tions may act in the same way. Which is true. But it is cer¬ 
tainly difficult to find another religion comparable with the 
Catholic Church in her role of direct instigator of pressing 
social and political problems. First, because no other great 
Church has so specifically condemned certain modem prin¬ 
ciples as has the Catholic Church; and, secondly, because 
practically every other Christian Church is more tolerant and 
does not exert such pressure on its members. Even if they did, 
their influence would be comparatively weak, owing to their 
lack of unity and mutual discord in ethical, social, and political 
problems. 

This is true not only of Christian denominations but also 
of non-Christian religions, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and 
Islam. The following is a typical example. 

In Persia, after the Government had nationalized the Abadan 
Oil Refineries (1951-2), there followed great economic and 
political complications. Influential Moslem religious leaders, 
such as Ayatollah Kashani, supported the Premier, who had 
implemented the nationalization. Others, such as Ayatollah 
Behbahani, one of the top twenty Moslem dignitaries of Persia, 
opposed him, because of his “ unconstitutional measures.” 
This on the ground that the Constitution laid down that the 
five leading Moslem dignitaries should participate in the Majlis 
(Parliament) sessions to ensure that Acts passed were in accord¬ 
ance with Moslem tenets. Because of their absence Behbahani 
maintained that all the parliamentary legislation was invalid. 

Kashani, regardless of such protestations, declared that all 
good Moslems must support the Government. Its religious 
opponents retorted that all good Moslems must oppose it. 
Thirty Moslem Mullahs, as a protest against their own dissent¬ 
ing religious factions and the Government, took sanctuary in 
the Sepahsalar Mosque, adjacent to the Persian Government 
building. Pro-Government Moslems besieged the Mosque. 
The Mullahs who disagreed with them locked the Mosque 
gates. But within the Mosque not all Moslems agreed on 



CITIZENS OF THE STATE, SECOND I33 

whether the tenets of the Moslem religion had or had not been 
violated, and one hundred pro-Government Moslem semin¬ 
arists, protesting against the thirty Mullahs, attempted forcibly 
to eject them. There followed riots among the faithful. 22 

A purely economic issue had been turned into a political 
and, finally, a religious one. In a country dominated by 
either Buddhism or Protestantism, the various Buddhist or 
Protestant leaders, facing a similar dilemma, would have split, 
on religious or on political grounds, and would have issued 
contradictory injunctions to their congregations, precisely as 
the Moslem religious leaders did. In a Catholic land—or, to 
be more precise, in any nation tackling the same problem, had 
such a problem seriously affected Catholic tenets or interests— 
Catholic reaction would have been different. The Catholics, 
far from becoming divided among themselves, would have had 
to follow precise directives from their local hierarchy or even 
straight from the Pope. Result: unlike Moslems, Buddhists, 
or Protestants, they would soon have formed a monolithic 
religious-political unit, to be carefully cultivated as a friend, 
and to be seriously feared as a most lethal foe. 

The Catholic Church, consequently, cannot be compared 
with any other religion. For, thanks to her unity, determina¬ 
tion, leadership, organizing power, religious and political 
machinery, and, above all^thebHnd^obec^^ediat^iilli^ 
owgj^Jjer, she can exert an exnraOTcTnflmijHie'avy pressure 
uponaflh er memEe^ ^ 2^ESowItor™H8^ 

meTja^^ma^SI^Tec^^rjpotenS^^iti^rinstmments^m 
her hands: instruments to_^ejjsed_at_any_mDn^ t, - jn^flj[ 
country, irrespective of friendship or hostility between ukGvk? 
uals, nations, or international institutions, provided her aims 
are furthered. 

Owing to this, the political activities of Catholics of any 
given country, be they organized or not, should be the object 
of special attention by any watchful State, as it is from their 
association with their Church that their social and political 
behaviour will ultimately be inspired. 

What we have just examined, therefore, should force us to 
accept the fact that the Catholic Church is not only a great 
religious institution, but ultimately and to all intents and 
purposes a great and mighty political power. 








8 

AUTHORITY, DEMOCRACY, 

AND THE POPES 

N ations, like individuals, cherish 
most what has cost them most. 
Today, at the basis of every free 
State there are certain principles of liberty which have been 
gained only after a dreadful expenditure of blood. These 
principles have never been acknowledged by the Catholic 
Church. 

Catholic tenets, dealing with the nature, duties, and rights 
of the citizen in a modern State and of die State in a modern 
society, are not only antagonistic to democracy, they are funda¬ 
mentally incompatible with its doctrines and practice. 

Their incompatibility is as ineradicable as the foundation 
upon which they are based: namely, that Catholicism is the 
only repository of truth, and hence the unique teacher of die 
human race. 

Owing to this, concepts such as government by the people, 
or the equality of religions, being profoundly alien to its spirit, 
are ruthlessly ignored, stultified, and repudiated. 

Catholic antagonism is not superficial. It is basic. It lies 
in what is the very foundation of a democratic society: 
authority. 

That society needs authority both Catholicism and the 

134 



AUTHORITY, DEMOCRACY, AND THE POPES 135 

modern State admit. Where they disagree is on the question 
of the origin and purpose of such authority. And on this they 
are poles apart. For, whereas the former insists that authority 
derives from a divine source, the latter asserts that it springs 
from the people, and hence that it is of earthly origin. 

The author of nature, says the Church, is God. Persons 
and institutions holding authority, hold it in trust for God 
Himself. 1 The assertion that it resides in the free will of men 
is pernicious and false. For “ the origin of public power,” as 
many Popes have asserted, “is to be sought for in God 
Himself, and not in the multitude.” 1 

Notwithstanding this, modern men have erected their 
political systems contrary to that basic tenet of Catholicism. 
The Popes claim that men by so doing “ have usurped a free¬ 
dom more generous than just.” Indeed, they have gone so far 
as to “ set themselves to construct theories about the origin 
and nature of the State according to their fancy, and even to 
declare that all authority comes from the people, so that those 
who exercise authority in the State do so as exercising not what 
is their own but what has been entrusted to them by the 
people.” 2 And, in addition, they even advocate such perni¬ 
cious doctrines as that because “ all men are alike by race and 
nature, so in like manner all are equal in the control of their 
life; that each one is so far his own master that each is free to 
think on every subject just as he may choose. . . . Govern¬ 
ment in a society based on such maxims is nothing more nor 
less than the will of the people, and the people ... is its own 
ruler.” 3 Such a notion is not only absurd, it is intrinsically 
wicked and wholly wrong, says the Church. And it is wrong 
not only because, in such a government, “ the authority of God 
is passed over in silence, as if there could be a government 
whose whole origin and power did not reside in God Him¬ 
self,” but, above all, because it would be ruled by “ a multitude 
which is its own master and ruler.” 3 

. A people cannot rule itself. It has neither the capacity nor 
the right to do so. It has no authority; hence it cannot confer 
authority upon others. The modern theory that people can 
choose their government and grant power is, therefore, false. 
In elections the people selects its rulers, but is not entitled to 
grant them authority: “ Such selection points out the ruler; it 



j^6 AUTHORITY, DEMOCRACY, AND THE POPES 

does not confer the rights of rulership; nor is authority then 
handed over, but it is determined by whom authority shall be 

exercised.” 4 _ . 

Consequently the people cannot give authority, for if the 
theories expounded by the modern State were true, it would 
follow that authority is not divine, and, worse still, that it 
comes front the people ulone. That must be condemned, 
warns the Church. For it is from such poisonous principles 
that the “ pernicious doctrines of Socialism and Com¬ 
munism ” 4 have derived their main strength. 

The government of a modern State, therefore, must accept 
the doctrine that its authority derives from God, and not from 
the people. Were a government to uphold the theory that 
“ the sovereignty of the people resides in the multitude , it 
would court disaster, say the Popes, for such a government 
would be in the power of the will of the people. And if 
princes are nothing more than delegates chosen to carry out 
the will of the people ... it necessarily follows that all things 
are as changeable as the will of the people, so that risk of 
public disturbance is ever hanging over our heads.’ 

The people has no sovereignty, and the principle of the 
people being the source of power in the State is wrong, the 
Popes repeat: 

The sovereignty of the people ... is held to reside in the multitude. 
This is a doctrine . . . which lacks all reasonable proofs and all power 
of ensuring public safety and preserving order . 6 

Catholics, therefore, must oppose and reject such tenets, 
expressed in the formula that “ the collective reason of the 
community should be the supreme guide in the management 
of all public affairs,” from which there springs that never- 
too-much abhorred fallacy which advocates “ the doctrine of 
the supremacy of the greater number and that all right and 
all duty reside in the majority.” 7 

These are the basic Catholic tenets with regard to 
democracy. They could not be more fundamentally opposite 
to those upon which modern society is erected. No other 
religious, economic, or political system, including certain forms 
of Right- and Left-Wing totalitarianism, could be so deadly 
hostile to the democratic spirit and all for which it stands. 



AUTHORITY, DEMOCRACY, AND THE POPES I37 

To declare that by the mere fact that a society is a democracy 
it is perfect would be absurd, to say the least. The faults of 
democracy are innumerable. The chasm between the ideal 
democracy inscribed in the constitutions of many countries and 
their practical application is enough to give perennial night¬ 
mares to its staunchest supporters. 

That the “ multitudes,” as the Popes rather disparagingly 
label the people, are capable of ruling themselves, it must be 
admitted, is still mainly Utopia. 

The most enlightened democracies in this respect have 
been a dismal failure—e.g. Americans sincerely hold their 
democracy to be the best in the world. By electing their own 
government, by selecting their own President, Senators, and 
Congressmen, they are convinced that it is they who determine 
the domestic and foreign policies of the United States. 
Theoretically this is true. In reality, however, it is only partly 
so. Particularly if it is pointed out how a fearful proportion 
of the electors who determine which party should go into 
power is fraught with such colossal ignorance as seemingly to 
justify the Papal abhorrence of rule by the masses. 

A most striking instance of the abysmal incompetence of 
the democratic masses to rule themselves was given by the 
U.S.A. Following the Second World War, events which 
shook the world filled the annals of all nations. The U.S.A. 
itself in 1950 risked being dragged into a third World War by 
sending its armies racing towards Manchuria during the Korea 
conflict, when hundreds of thousands of American troops were 
fighting on Korean soil. At this period the U.S.A. sent a sub¬ 
stantial portion of her navy to blockade Formosa, to protect 
Chiang Kai Shek, who, having been defeated by the Chinese 
Communists, had retired there with his Nationalist armies. 
Almost simultaneously, the U.S.A. promoted a grand Alliance, 
formed by the countries of Western Europe, called the 
Atlantic Pact, as a defensive-offensive war instrument against 
Soviet Russia. Prior to this, an ominous split in the Com¬ 
munist front, initiated by Tito, the Yugoslav dictator, made 
the U.S.A. profoundly alter its tactics. All such events were 
headline news for years throughout the world, including the 
U.S.A. Yet, when Americans were asked the following 
questions: 



Ij8 AUTHORITY, DEMOCRACY, AND THE POPES 

“ Where is Formosa? Manchuria? ” 

“ What is the Atlantic Pact? ” 

“ Who is Chiang Kai Shek? ” 

“ Who is Tito? ” 

one-fifth of adult Americans—that is to say, of American 
electors—who were asked these questions could not answer 
a single one of them . 

This is not all. The United States, during these most fate¬ 
ful years, had Dean Acheson as one of its most controversial 
Secretaries of State. Yet, when adult Americans were asked 
who their present Secretary of State was, one-third did not 
know. 8 

The American future electors proved to be even less know¬ 
ledgeable. During a survey conducted among 30,000 Los 
Angeles students, aged sixteen to eighteen, three per cent could 
not tell the time shown on a drawing of a clock. 

Democracy has always been generous with time, and hence 
the failure of a mere three per cent could be by-passed. When, 
however, sixteen per cent of these same future vote-holders 
failed to locate their own home town on a map of California, 
while two per cent, although living in California, could not 
locate it on a map of the U.S.A., then to maintain that these 
individuals will act with the greatest wisdom in the conduct 
of the internal affairs of American democracy is to advocate a 
very poor case indeed. 9 

When, in addition to the above, thirteen per cent of these 
same future promoters of American Foreign Policy could not 
find the Atlantic Ocean, 10 then Papal sneers are not altogether 
unjustified. Indeed, Papal assertions that a democracy is com¬ 
posed of individuals who are the natural members of the 
universal party of the “ Know Nothings ”—a party, inci¬ 
dentally, which actually flourished in the U.S.A. 11 —and hence 
that it is most unwise to invest authority “ in the multitudes/’ 
have more than a good deal of justification. 

Neither is this all. In addition to such colossal ignorance, 
the American people seem to be even less qualified to run a 
democracy when drug addiction among them within a few 
years increased at the appalling rate of more than 600 per 
cent; 12 and when an estimated 6,000,000 American voters are 
either partly or totally qualified alcoholics; 13 when 8,000,000 



AUTHORITY, DEMOCRACY, AND THE ROPES I39 

Americans are partially or totally mentally clinically diseased; 
and, last but not least, when another 7,000,000 (i.e. one in 
every twenty Americans) are officially counted as “ criminals,” 
with the result that—and these are the official figures of the 
American Federal Bureau of Investigation—“ a murder, rape, 
or robbery is committed every eighteen seconds in the U.S., day 
and night, throughout the year,” 14 the Papal indictment that 
a people cannot and should not be permitted to be its own 
ruler could not be more justified. 

Yet no true lover of liberty, even when confronted by such 
dismal figures, would be induced to denounce, condemn, 
suppress, or abolish democracy and the principles inspired by 
it. The imperfections of democracy, although mostly caused 
by the people, in due course can and will be lessened, indeed 
made to vanish, by the amelioration of the intellectual, 
economic, and political structures of the society upon which 
popular government is erected. 

To admit the partial inability of the people to rule itself, 
to recognize its shortcomings and the near-failure of modern 
democracy to stand by its own principles, is neither to con¬ 
demn nor to deny the right to authority or the delegated power 
of the masses. It is to recognize faults which it is the duty of 
every able citizen to remedy, to make popular governments 
more fit to govern. 

Catholic condemnation of democracy, however, is not 
inspired by such considerations. It springs from ineradicable 
Catholic hostility to freedom in any form and, above all, from 
the Catholic determination to rule with a rod of iron. 

Catholic odium against modern democracy is nothing new. 
It is rooted in the most ancient past. Catholicism has hated, 
opposed, and attempted to destroy democracy from its very 
inception in its ruthless efforts to hamper the march of the 
masses towards freedom. 

The most venerable original source of modern democracy in 
the West was the Magna Carta. With that document, and for 
the first time, certain basic principles of individual freedom 
were set forth. These, although very inadequate to our 
modern eyes, were later to become the stem from which almost 
all democratic principles accepted by the West were eventually 
to blossom. The Catholic Church not only denounced this 



140 AUTHORITY, DEMOCRACY, AND THE POPES 

document, but, after having described the inspirers of the 
Charter as being “ worse than Saracens,” it solemnly con¬ 
demned it and forbade all Christians to accept the principles it 
embodied. It was thus that, upon the Magna Carta, the 
great charter of modern liberties, Pope Innocent III, after 
having called it “ a diabolical document, pronounced the 
following: 

In the name of God Almighty, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, and by 
authority of the blessed apostles Peter and Paul, after having taken 
counsel with our brothers, we wholly reject and condemn this charter. lj 

The Popes equally rejected and condemned the principles of 
the French Revolution. 

Their condemnations were not merely theoretical. People 
found supporting them were made to suffer severe penalties. 
In the Western Hemisphere, following the North American 
Revolution, South Americans carrying medallions inscribed 
with the words “ American Liberty ” were penalized. The 
Government of Madrid, on the Vatican’s advice, issued a royal 
decree making it a crime to possess them. Anyone caught 
supporting the principles which set the United States free was 
officially accused of “ heretical ideas.” The Holy Inquisition, 
as the most effective instrument of the Catholic Church, was 
put to work in an attempt to stamp out the diabolical doctrines 
of North American democracy. In Brazil the Constitution of 
the U.S.A. was put on the prohibited-reading list. In 1788 
Olavide, in Peru, was found guilty of “ heretical beliefs ” and 
condemned to perform an ignominious public penance, by the 
Inquisition, for having in his private library the writings of 
Voltaire, Rousseau, Bayle, and North American liberals. In 
Colombia, in 1794, Antonio Narino, having come across a copy 
of the forbidden Declaration of the 'Rights of Man, had it 
translated into Spanish. For such crime his goods were con¬ 
fiscated, his family proscribed, and he himself condemned to 
ten years’ imprisonment in Africa. 

When, in spite of the Catholic Church’s opposition, the 
Spanish Colonies became independent, Spain and her 
reactionary allies, backed by the Holy Alliance, organized an 
expeditionary force, with a view to reconquering Latin 
America and stamping out the “ pestilential ideas of the North 



AUTHORITY, DEMOCRACY, AND THE POPES I4I 

American and French. Revolutions.” The Pope bolstered their 
anti-liberal crusade by issuing a special encyclical in which he 
opposed, damned, and condemned American emancipation. 

The Catholic Church opposed the abolition of slavery— 
e.g. in Brazil, where, during the Latin-American revolutions, 
there existed the largest slave class in the whole of America, over 
one-half of the 7,000,000 inhabitants being slaves, a good 
portion of them owned by the Church. When the Brazilian 
Parliament in the last century abolished slavery the Church 
denounced the promoters of the Bill with the bitterest venom 
—indeed, she went so far as to help in the downfall of the 
Emperor of Brazil on the ground that he was one of its main 
advocates. 

The Catholic Church has not only persistently opposed the 
abolition of slavery, but sanctioned slavery. A Papal Bull in 
1537 sanctioned the opening of slave markets in Lisbon, where 
between 10,000 and 12,000 negroes were sold each year, for 
transportation to the American colonies. The Popes approved 
slavery in Portugal as late as 1837. 

No Pope issued encyclicals condemning slavery until 1871, 
when slavery had been abolished practically throughout the 
civilized nations; even less did they promote mighty crusades 
to free slaves and thus abolish one of the most un-Christian 
institutions of Christendom, as they did against the American 
colonies, against the liberals of the nineteenth century, and 
against the Communists of the twentieth. 

On the contrary, the abolition of slavery was initiated by 
Protestants, liberals, and democrats. It never came from the 
Vatican, which opposed it with the utmost stubbornness—e.g. 
when the various governments of Europe attempted to sign an 
international agreement among themselves to render slavery 
illegal. 

Perhaps the most illuminating example occurred when, after 
the downfall of Napoleon, the European Nations convened in 
Vienna to plan a new Europe. The new Europe, it should be 
noted, was to be rebuilt as much as possible on the pre- 
Napoleonic Europe of the previous century. Results: the old 
kingly tyrants returned en masse to their golden thrones, and 
the most reactionary regimes were promptly installed in prac¬ 
tically the whole of the European continent. Notwithstand- 



I42 AUTHORITY, DEMOCRACY, AND THE POPES 

ing this, most of these super-conservative rulers decided to 
do away with one of the blackest spots of European civiliza¬ 
tion, : slavery. The proposals, at the Congress of Vienna, did 
not come from any Catholic powers, or even less from the 
Vatican, which had sent a Papal representative. They came 
from Protestant England. 

Pope Pius VII had sent to the Congress Cardinal Consalvi, 
who was there in 1814 and in 1815. Cardinal Consalvi was 
one of the most liberal-minded cardinals of the period. When, 
therefore, the English proposals for the abolition of slavery 
were put forward, Consalvi should, at least, have sympathized 
with die attempt. Instead, what happened P He was genuinely 
surprised that anyone should even think of abolishing slavery. 
He poured scorn upon the whole issue. The Cardinal was in 
the habit of sending regular secret dispatches to the Pope. In 
one of these he tells His Holiness about the British plan and 
about his encounter with Lord Casdereagh, who first 
approached him on the question: 

He [Lord Casdereagh] went so far as to tell me that England desired 
the co-operation of the Holy Father in an affair that he had much at 
heart and about which he spoke with an earnestness that your Eminence 
could scarcely imagine. And what was it all about? Your Eminence 
will be as surprised as I was when I learned that he had in mind to 
speak about the suppression of the Negro slave trade. 

Thereupon the Cardinal, after having described his merri¬ 
ment at such a fantastic idea, came down to the practical side 
of the matter: 

I had to bear in mind that a too curt response would not have been 
pleasing [the Cardinal continued], in view of the tremendous interest 
that the English Government takes in this affair, as is proved by the text 
itself of Lord Castlereagh’s note. I got a clear idea of the necessity of 
adding something which would satisfy the English Government without, 
however, compromising us. Other reflections presented themselves to 
my mind which seemed to me very serious, such as the fact that in 
order to recognize a certain usage as contrary to humanity and charity 
the head of our religion should have had to undergo pressure from a 
non-Catholic power, and that the Holy See has remained so long silent 
on a subject of such serious interest. 

The Cardinal, after having thus admitted pressure from 
a non-Catholic power to suppress slavery, and that the Catholic 



AUTHORITY, DEMOCRACY, AND THE POPES 143 

Church had “ remained so long silent,” made a further no 
less revealing admission—namely, that certain nations where 
the Catholic Church ruled supreme were against the abolition 
of slavery, and that the Catholic Church did not want to go 
against their financial interests. Here are the Cardinal’s 
concluding words: 

I reflected also on the fact that we might offend the Catholic powers 
which hold to the preservation of this usage [slavery], which is very 
useful to their pecuniary interests. 

The Cardinal could also have added, “ which was very 
useful to the Popes only a few years ago.” For, incredible as 
it may sound, little more than 150 years ago, the Vicars of 
Jesus Christ on Earth were buying and selling slaves on their 
own. Although not greatly publicized either by the Propa¬ 
ganda Fide or by the American hierarchy, the un-Christian 
but real fact is that Pope Pius VI was selling slaves as recently 
as the last century. A list of the slaves sold by His Holiness, 
complete with their names and a description of their clothes and 
ages, can be perused, with much edification, by anyone who 
cares to look at the document. For those who can believe 
in revolving suns, but not in authentic documentation, perhaps 
the following declarations attached to the Papal list might be 
of interest: 

I, the undersigned, declare that I have received from the Illustrious 
Signori the brothers Manzi, Assentisti Generali of the Pontifical Naval 
Supplies, the above-mentioned twenty-four slaves, clad in all their cloth¬ 
ing, consigned to me by the orders of His Excellency the Very Reverend 
Monsignor Fabrizio Ruffo, Treasurer and Commissario Generale of the 
Sea, given on the 8th of this month for the first seventeen; and on the 
20th, for the remaining seven: and these have been received on account 
of Signore Domenico Lavaggi of Rome, whose duty it is to deposit the 
total amount in the Treasury of the Reverend Camera: that is, for the 
first [consignment] 30 scudi each, and for the second, 40 scudi each, as 
agreed with His previously-praised Excellency. In fede, etc., Nicolo 
Parodi, Civitavecchia, 23rd November, 1788. 16 

The Popes not only never fought against slavery, not only 
accepted it as part and parcel of Christian society, but actually 
encouraged Catholic nations to capture and sell Christians in 
the free slave-markets of Europe. One particular Pope duly 
proclaimed the right of either sex, clerical or lay, to own 

F 



144 AUTHORITY, DEMOCRACY, AND THE POPES 

slaves: indeed, this same Pope planned nothing less than to 
have English men and women captured and sold as slaves 
throughout the West. The Holy Father’s name ? Pope Paul III. 

Paul III, in fact, condemned everyone in England or else¬ 
where who supported Henry VIII to be sold as a slave. The 
Holy Father was the happy owner of many himself. His 
successors were no less practising Christians than Paul III. As 
already mentioned, in 1789 the Pope owned fifty slaves, which 
number was subsequently increased to several hundred in the 
following years. 

By whom was slavery abolished in the Papal States and in 
Rome where the Popes were kings? By some newly elected 
Pontiff endowed with an extraordinary memory which, on his 
elevation, enabled him suddenly to remember with a certain 
degree of accuracy the message of the four Gospels ? Oh, most 
historical impossibility! No! 

The Holy Fathers were given a most concrete lesson in 
Christianity by a most unholy son, who probably had never 
cared to open the pages of either Matthew, Mark, Luke, or 
John, but who knew Papal history well. This most unholy 
spiritual offspring, towards the dawning of the last century, 
acting in a most un-Catholic manner, simply robbed His 
Holiness the Pope of his legal property by snatching away 
several hundred slaves and sending them back to Africa, free. 
The robbery meant the end of slavery in the seat of Catholic 
morality. The name of this most amoral evildoer? Napoleon 
Bonaparte. 

Once more, what forced men to break the chains of bondage 
was inspired neither by the Catholic Church nor by the Popes, 
but by the principles of the French and American revolutions, 
against which the Pontiffs were at that very period hurling all 
their anathemas. 

But, if it is fair to indict the Popes for trafficking in slavery, 
it is also fair to remember that the “ heretical ” English were 
doing the same and were no less piously trafficking with their 
fellow-Christians than were the Catholics. Some Protestants 
went so far as to see that other Protestants with whom they 
disagreed on religious dogma be captured and sold as slaves, 
“ so that the Lord may be glorified.” This manner of prevent¬ 
ing the Lord from being “ mocked ” is even more striking 



AUTHORITY, DEMOCRACY, AND THE POPES I45 

when it is pointed out that some of these unworthy exertions 
were directed against certain Christians who ever since have 
given the most praiseworthy example of genuine practical 
Christianity to both Protestants and Catholics—i.e. the 
Quakers. 

Here is the text of as unedifying a document as can be 
found in any of the Papal records: 


September ye 15, 1682, 

To ye Aged and Beloved Mr. John Higginson, 

There is now at sea a ship called the Welcome , which has on board 
an hundred or more of the heretics and malignants called “ Quakers,” 
with W. Penn, who is the chief scamp, at the head of them. 

The general court has accordingly given secret orders to Master 
Malachi Huscott, of the brig Porpoise , to waylay the said Penn and his 
ungodly crew, so that the Lord may be glorified, and not mocked on the 
soil of this new country with the heathen worship of these people. 

Much spoil can be made by selling the whole lot to Barbados, where 
slaves fetch good prices in rum and sugar. 

Cotton Mather, 

American clergyman 
(1663-1728). 

Protestant nations were no less eager than Protestant 
individuals about holding on to the preservation of this 
“ usage.” The English were selling and buying slaves and, 
indeed, preying upon ships “at sea ” one century and a half 
after Cotton Mather’s advice to Mr. J. Higginson. 

After due credit is given to the courage and idealism of 
many individuals who genuinely fought against the retention 
of slavery, preservation of the “ usage,” as the Cardinal put it, 
not only was advocated by most of them; many had become 
the happy promoters of a roaring slave trade. 

The British Government was no less busy in this “ free 
enterprise.” For, while its official representative at the Con¬ 
gress of Vienna, Lord Castlereagh, was vainly trying to 
persuade the Catholic Church to side with him to make 
Christian Europe slightly more Christian, the British mercan¬ 
tile marine was raiding ships filled with liberated slaves, 
sailing from the United States to Liberia, Africa. 

Here ag ain , it is not any Catholic country, or, even less, the 
Vatican, who gave a helping hand to the slaves, but another 
Protestant nation, acting, not on religious principles but on 



1^6 authority, democracy, and the popes 

humanitarian grounds—indeed, inspired by the very tenets 
based on what the Catholic Church called the “ diabolical 
doctrines of the American Constitution. The movement for 
the liberation of negro slaves was begun by the American 
Colonization Society in 1816, followed by the Maryland 
Colonization Society, and others. In 1821 the most important 
of such organizations got a title to land from the aborigines 
on the West Coast of Africa. In 1822 the Mayflower 
unloaded its first freed slaves on the shore of what is now 
Liberia. These, the freed slaves, founded their new capital, 
Monrovia, named after President Monroe. The British set out 
to capture those who followed, and whenever the newly 
liberated American slaves fell into their hands, then their 
freedom was lost for good and they were ruthlessly dumped in 
Sierra Leone by British-manned ships, where they started a 
new life of slavery. 

In 1847 Liberia was set up as an independent republic, upon 
a Constitution patterned on that of the U.S.A. Most European 
nations promptly recognized the new nation, with notable 
exceptions—most of the Catholic governments, and, ironically 
enough, that of the U.S.A., which did not grant recognition 
until fifteen years later, i.e. not until 1862, when the Civil War 
removed Southern opposition. 

During the American Civil War the Vatican openly sided 
with the Southern States, wanting to retain slavery, and 
waging a most insidious war against Lincoln, as we shall 
presently see. On this occasion the Vatican not only sided 
with the Southern States which wanted to retain slavery, but 
openly rejoiced that American democracy was in danger of 
being destroyed by the Civil War, going so far—when 
Lincoln’s cause seemed to be on the brink of defeat—as to 
declare that “ by a manifest Providence, that immense Babylon 
(the U.S.A.), founded on the principles of the revolution, is 
broken and undone.” 17 

The hatred which the Catholic Church bears against any 
progressive movement has never abated. Although, since the 
total abolition of slavery, it took different forms, owing mainly 
to the progress made by Liberalism and democracy, the 
Catholic Church, whenever she had enough power, has always 
attempted to thwart, hamper, and slow down progressive 



AUTHORITY, DEMOCRACY, AND THE ROPES 147 

principles and practices, not refraining, on more than one 
occasion, from resorting openly to murder. The most striking 
relatively recent example occurred during the last century in 
Italy, when Freemasons, liberals, and democrats (the equivalent 
of the Communists of the following century) were pursued 
and often killed at street corners or in public meetings, with 
the connivance of the authorities, by bands of fanatical mem¬ 
bers of the Church who belonged to a Catholic organization, 
inspired and promoted by the Vatican, called the Sanfedisti, 
the name being a contraction of Santa Fe, Holy Faith. 

The Popes continued to oppose both Liberalism and 
democracy to such an extent that Pius IX issued his famous 
Syllabus, the greatest accumulation of malediction against 
modern democracy and all that it stands for in the history of 
the West. Later, in their undiminished hatred, they ordered 
all Italian Catholics to oppose and boycott the Italian Govern¬ 
ment, by strictly forbidding them, under pain of eternal 
damnation, to vote or to stand as candidates for the Govern¬ 
ment. Ne eletti, ne’ elettori (no elected, no electors) became 
the rallying cry of the Catholic Church, a slogan which made 
a great hit with the conservative Europe of the period. In 1867 
the Vatican made this the official rule of all Catholics, by 
issuing its Non Expedit (it is not expedient). In 1895 it 
strengthened this by telling Catholics that Non Expedit meant 
that it was specifically prohibited to support any liberal or 
democratic government. This, it must be noted, was officially 
removed only after the First World War, when the Vatican 
sympathized with, blessed, and supported Fascism in Italy, 
Hitler in Germany, Salazar in Portugal, Primo De Rivera and 
Franco in Spain, and all the dictators in Latin America, not to 
mention the Fascist dictators in Poland, Hungary, and other 
Eastern European countries. 

Catholic hostility towards democracy has not abated. It is 
still there, alive, potent, and as scheming as ever. The 
successors of Pius IX and of Leo XIII, that most “ progressive ” 
of modern Popes, have not changed. On the contrary, they 
have hurled more authoritative odium against it. Pius XI, the 
man “who was no lover of Democracy,” dissolved several 
Catholic parties inspired by democratic principles, with the 
definite purpose of paving the way for Fascism and Nazism. 



1^8 AUTHORITY, DEMOCRACY, AND THE POPES 

Pius XII—whom Ecclesia, the official organ of the Spanish 
Central Board of Catholic Action, in an attempt to pay him 
the greatest tribute a Catholic paper could pay, called His 
Holiness Pius XII, the best anti-democrat in the World ” 18 
—is one of the most deadly enemies of democracy in the 
twentieth century. The insidiousness of his diplomatic and 
political cunning, as well as of his sly use of a pseudo- 
democratic phraseology, have proved disastrous, even among 
the rank and file of the democracies themselves, who finally 
sided with the Catholic Church in her anti-Communist 
crusade. Pius XII promoted pseudo-democratic political 
Catholic parties throughout Europe after the Second World 
War. Most of these, called Christian Democrats, were neither 
democratic nor Christian nor merely political parties, but 
purely political tools used by the Catholic Church as the most 
up-to-date instruments with which to undermine and 
ultimately to destroy genuine democracy throughout the West. 

Pius XII’s declarations against democracy, like his deeds, 
were innumerable. “ Today, everywhere, the life of nations is 
disintegrated by the blind worship of numerical strength,” he 
said on one occasion. “ The citizen is a voter. But, as such, he is 
in reality none other than one of the units whose total constitutes 
a majority or a minority, which a shifting of some votes, even 
of only one, is sufficient to overturn,” he stated on another, 
implying that democracy was insufficient, absurd, and wrong. 
Modern society must be free from “ the cogs of a mechanical 
unitarianism,” he said once. Indeed, society, according to 
Pius XII, was being disrupted by democracy, that “ blind cult 
of the value of numbers.” 10 

The attitude of the Catholic Church towards economic, 
social, and political progress, inspired by the liberal and the 
democratic principles upon which contemporary democracies 
the world over are erected, was put into a nutshell by one of 
his predecessors: 

Let him be anathema who affirms that the Roman Pontiff can and 
ought to reconcile and adapt himself to progress, to Liberalism and to 
modern culture. 20 

This ringing malediction is as valid now as when it was 
first uttered by the cursing Papal lips. 



9 

CATHOLIC OPPOSITION TO FREEDOM 
OF CONSCIENCE, OF SPEECH, AND 
OF THE PRESS 


w 


HEN WE CATHOLICS ARE IN 


_ jour pri nciples: 

when we Catholics are in th e~ma"jonty7^ 
t he name or oar principles. ] 1 * 

"And hard, concrete deeds have made of this the most 


characteristic Catholic formula of modern times. Particularly 
in non-Catholic countries, where Catholicism’s ceaseless 
exertions directed at undermining democratic liberties are 
invariably orientated by the ruthless opportunism epitomized 
by such villainous cynicism. 

Catholic energy is perennially directed against freedom— 
that is to say, against freedom not approved by the Catholic 
Church, which, therefore, must be combated as error. 


One of such most pernicious erors: religious freedom. 

Religious freedom as an error, however, cannot by any 
means remain isolated. Being an intrinsic facet of the general 
freedom which stands at the very base of the democratic 
fabric, it is an integral part of other, no less pernicious liberties, 
which must also be either partially restricted or, at times, even 


149 





CATHOLIC OPPOSITION TO FREEDOM OF 


totally suppressed. In virtue of this, the Catholic Church, 
being consistent, asserts that the State should not only forbid 
any other religion to be set on an equal footing with her, but 
also prohibit the mischievous doctrine of indiscriminate 
individual liberty. For, as Pope Pius XII sternly reminded 
Catholics, “individual liberty in reality is only a deadly 
anarchy.” 3 Liberty of the individual to say or to read what 
he likes, for instance, is an error. Hence Catholic condemna¬ 
tion of freedom of speech and of the Press. This, on the 
ground that, if a man is free to speak and print what he likes, 
he can harm the truth. Truth only has absolute rights. 
Deceptive and lying opinions, consequently, should be dili¬ 
gently suppressed by the State. As “ truth alone should fill 
the minds of men,” 3 and as the Catholic Church is the 
greatest and most reliable teacher of mankind,” it follows that 
it is up to her to say which are the liberties which men should 
enjoy, for “ in her dwells an inviolable right to teach them.” 3 

This must not be resented, says the Church, for there is no 
reason why genuine liberty should grow indignant ... at 
having to bear the just and necessary restraint of laws by 
which, in the judgment of the Church and of reason itself, 
human teaching has to be controlled .” 3 

The necessary restraint to teaching is not applicable only 
to the schools; it covers the unofficial education of adult 
citizens by means of Press, books, films, broadcasts, television 
—i.e. censorship. 

Censorship is necessary, declare the Popes, because liberty to 
think is “contrary to reason .” And, furthermore, because 
“ the unrestrained freedom of thinking and of openly making 
known one’s thoughts is not inherent in the rights of citizens.” 4 

Owing to this, they have decreed that it is “quite unlawf ul 
to demand, d efendrorgrant'unconffi^ 

speecii, writing, or worship as Jt these were so many rights 
c§|n>y naffire FoT“ it always remaihrfrue that 

meTfbif'ty whicE is claimed for all to do all things is not, as 
we have often said, of itself desirable, as such, as it is contrary 
to reason that error and truth should have equal rights.” 5 

Modern man, consequently, should reject unconditional 
freedom to think, say, or read what he likes. For, by so 
doing, he would court ruin. Proofs ? “ The experience of 




These are Papal dicta. Catholic contentions—aired particu¬ 
larly in Protestant countries—that, because the Popes did not 
condemn liberty ex cathedra, they are not forced to accept the 
Papal condemnation of freedom, are false. Leo XIII rudely 
slammed the door on such reasoning. Catnmcs~must accep t 
whatever the Popes decree as teac hing w hicFtEey nmst obey:' 1 *' 

In defining the limits of the obedience owed ... to the authority of 
the Roman Pontiff [he said in his encyclical Chief Duties of Christians 
as Citizens], it must not be supposed that it is only to be yielded in 
relation to dogma . . . [Catholics must] allow themselves to be ruled 
and directed by the authority and leadership of bishops and, above all, 
of the Apostolic See. [Indeed], as regards opinion, whatever the Roman 
Pontiffs have hitherto taught, or shall hereafter teach* must be held with 
a firm grasp of mind, and, so often as occasion requires, must be openly 
professed. 

Catholics are not the professed enemies of liberty merely in 
theory. They are so also in practice. They think, behave, and 




CATHOLIC OPPOSITION TO FREEDOM OF 


152 

act as such. Their exertions, of course, are made to conform 
to the religious-political climate of the society in which they 
live. These exertions can comprise all the gradations of shade, 
from an open, blatant condemnation to a subtle, insidious 
enmity, according to whether their Church is powerful or 
weak, the predominant or the smallest religious organization 
of a city or of a nation. 

In a wholly Catholic country, where Church and State are 
one, for instance, freedom is extinct. There is only one 
religion: Catholicism. Only one party: that in power. As 
the former is the inspirer of the latter, and as the latter is the 
supporter of the former, the totalitarianism of both is inte¬ 
grated, and any freedom not in conformity with Catholic 
doctrines is condemned. The thwarting of freedom can range 
from the banning of non-Catholic denominations and the 
condemnation of liberalism to dictates about swimming-suits 
—e.g. compelling men to cover their chests and wear trunks 
reaching almost to their knees; and women to cover their 
backs and wear skirts, and turn to the sea while sun-bathing; or 
closing art exhibitions on the sound pretext that “ crowds do 
not possess the artistic capacity to appreciate the total beauty 
of the human body.” These decrees were issued in Spain in 
June, 1951. Similar legislation was enacted in Italy in 1948, and 
in France under the Petain regime. 7 In 1952 Cardinal Guevara, 
of Lima, Peru, issued a decree prohibiting the playing of 
Mendelssohn’s wedding march, women singing solos, mixed 
choirs, and the taking of all posed wedding photographs. 5 

In a wholly Catholic country where Catholicism is all- 
powerful but where the democratic machinery is partially 
working, freedom can be paralysed in matters dealing with 
criticism of the Church’s religious, ethical, moral, and social 
ideas, and in the approbation and propagation of Protestantism. 
In such a country the restriction of civil freedom will take the 
form of a strict domestic censorship and the banning of books, 
newspapers, films—e.g. Catholic Ireland. 

In a country where democratic forces are very powerful but 
where a Catholic party is the dominant political party and, by 
ruling the government single-handed, exerts a kind of mild 
authoritarianism, freedom, although superficially unhampered, 
is yet being unobtrusively but steadily stultified—e.g. Italy, 



CONSCIENCE, OF SPEECH, AND OF THE PRESS I53 

under the Catholic Christian Democratic Party after the Second 
World War. Thus, while non-Catholic members of Parlia¬ 
ment could be deprived of their Parliamentary immunity and 
brought to court for offending the Pope, 9 and journalists or 
plain citizens could be sentenced for criticizing the political 
activities of the Vatican, 10 people were forbidden to kiss in 
public because of clerical disapproval, 11 feminine fashions were 
banned upon the frowning of the Church, 12 sartorial innova¬ 
tions were charged with immorality, and aluminium fig-leaves 
were bolted on to marble statues, as was done to the sixty 
statues of nude athletes at the Foro Italico, Rome, in 
December, 1950. 

In a democratic country where the Church, although not 
in power, nevertheless can exercise great influence upon the 
government through public opinion, freedom is attacked by 
devious means—e.g. by the publication in the daily papers of 
a list of the films which the Catholic Church unofficially orders 
Catholics to boycott, as in Belgium. 13 

In a Protestant country freedom is attacked in a more subtle 
way. For instance, via the Catholic Press, or, more frequently, 
via the channels of the ordinary Press, where, more often than 
not, Catholic influence is indirectly but concretely exercised. 
Here freedom, although at times openly attacked, as a rule is 
hampered by dubious devices, such as consistently ignoring 
certain news, the use of silence blankets, the skilful distortion 
of coverage of small and big events, the indirect boycott of 
books, films, and the like—e.g. in England. 

In a country in which, although Protestant, yet the 
Catholic Church is represented by a substantial and vociferous 
minority, the attack against freedom is carried out with a 
cautious boldness, ranging from open attack under the specious 
plea of public morality, or war against political movements, to 
direct or indirect boycott, organized pressure groups, or the 
“ imponderable ” menace of undetectable blackmail, with 
which to “ correct or direct ” individuals, organizations, local 
administration, and even the Federal Government, for 
instance, in the U.S.A. Here Catholic censorship is exercised 
through such “ democratic ” instruments as the Legion of 
Decency, blacklisting, purging, purifying and directing films, 
television, and broadcasting; the Knights of Columbus, 



CATHOLIC OPPOSITION TO FREEDOM OF 


154 

restraining, coaching and advising public bodies, politicians, 
and administrations; the Catholic Daughters of America, 
defending the sacredness of marriage and “ combating 
divorce”; the National Federation of Catholic College students, 
“ cleaning up news-stands ” in crusades to stamp out indecent 
and anti-Catholic literature; the Holy Name Society, “ prevent¬ 
ing the sale of comic books harmful to children ; and count¬ 
less similar organizations. Thanks to these, influential 
non-Catholic bodies, from movie-makers to booksellers and 
politicians, seldom dare openly to defy Catholic ire, in fear of 
the Catholic “ white terror ” so ominously exercised upon a 
preponderandy Protestant nation. 

The Catholic Church can hamper freedom also in non- 
Christian lands by either seeking the support of powerful lay 
interests determined to fight the same ideological enemies or 
relying on the authorities of foreign Powers controlling the 
non-Christian populations—e.g. in Japan, occupied by the 
Americans (1945—51)5 Indo-China under the French. Inde¬ 
pendent or semi-independent countries can be included in such 
a category—e.g. Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria. 

Catholic stultification of the concept and practice of freedom 
can operate on an international scale, either by influencing 
bodies such as the world-wide Federation of Catholic Univer¬ 
sities, St. Joan’s International Social and Political Alliance, 
the International Union of Catholic Women, and similar 
organizations, or by the threat of a Catholic “ white terror ” 
upon others, such as the International Court of Justice at the 
Hague w or the United Nations Organization itself, as we shall 
presently see. 

Owing to the Catholic capacity to operate in regional, 
national, and international fields, therefore, the Catholic 
Church is a true menace to the democratic freedom of 
individuals and nations throughout the world, to be constantly 
combated, lest she be permitted to reach her ultimate goal and 
thus exert the inevitable tyranny inherent both in her prin¬ 
ciples and in her practices. 


The Catholic Church, while obdurate, is nonetheless 
realistic. And when operating in Protestant countries, 



CONSCIENCE, OF SPEECH, AND OF THE PRESS I55 

although intransigent with her principles, she can modify her 
tactics and, indeed, chameleon-like, adapt herself to the society 
within which she is functioning, the better to weaken her 
opponents. 

With regard to her attitude towards liberty, religious toler¬ 
ance, and die like, being faced with the fact that the majority 
of States will never follow her precepts and that millions of her 
members are citizens of such States, she has enlarged upon her 
principles in such a manner as to endow their practice with 
the greatest elasticity, widi the set purpose of avoiding making 
of Catholic citizens the open enemies of the State. 

Thus, while telling Catholics that the separation of Church 
and State “ is of a nature which no one can approve,” 15 
simultaneously she advises them to compromise. When free¬ 
dom of worship is granted to all religions, they had better not 
oppose it, to “ avoid greater evil.” For, says the Pope, “ while 
she [the Church] deems it unlawful to place various forms of 
divine worship on the same footing as the true religion 
[Catholicism], she does not on that account condemn those 
rulers who, for the sake of securing some great good or of 
hindering some great evil, tolerate in practice that these various 
forms of religion have a place in the State.” 15 

Freedom for the “ various forms of divine worship,” how¬ 
ever, should go thus far and no farther, warns the Church. 
For, if it were to enable citizens to harm the “ true religion,” 
then it must be withdrawn. 16 Hence “ freedom in these things 
may be tolerated whenever there is a just cause,” 17 but should 
be tolerated “ only with such moderation as will prevent its 
degenerating into licence and excess.” 17 

Catholic freedom, however, is not the freedom as acknow¬ 
ledged by the modern State, because “ genuine liberty,” 
declares the Church, is that freedom which “ does not allow 
the individual to become the slave of error and passion,” 18 as 
a State based on democracy does. 

Consequently, Catholics must not fall into the fallacy that, 
because they have to tolerate a democracy, they must cease to 
fight it. The granting of civic liberties must not allure them 
to such an erroneous conclusion. “ Let no one be deceived by 
those outward appearances of these liberties,” the Popes tell 
them, and “ let them consider all the deplorable consequences 



CATHOLIC OPPOSITION TO FREEDOM OF 


156 

that these liberties with which the modern State has endowed 
them as citizens have brought in their trail . . . fruits which 
good and wise men must deplore.” 19 

Catholics have duties towards the State, but, as members of 
the Church they have duties which are more sacred than their 
civil ones, declare the Popes. Therefore, they must 
“ endeavour to bring back all civil society to Catholicism.” 20 
This can be done by making “ use of popular institutions.” 
Catholics, however, must take care to set limits to their colla¬ 
boration with the popular institution of a democratic State, 
“ lest they help the latter to go against the principles of 
religion,” or to sponsor false opinions. Consequently, “ care 
must be taken never to connive in any way at false opinions, 
nor ever to withstand them less strenuously than truth 
aliows.” 20 

This superficial Catholic tolerance of democracy, “ to avoid 
greater evil,” is stretched farther. And, in her attempt to 
allow Catholics to penetrate democratic structures without 
imperilling their chance of so doing by a strict observance of 
their opposition to democratic theory and practice, the 
Catholic Church has resorted to one of the most perverted 
pieces of sophistry ever invented by organized religion. 

This is what Catholic theology labels restrictio mentalis — 
i.e. mental reservation—but what any honest individual must 
label typical Catholic hypocrisy. 

Mental reservation has been invented to enable Catholics to 
pretend they can be loyal citizens of any State, whether demo¬ 
cratic or totalitarian, without bothering their consciences, by 
betraying themselves and the State, in order to be loyal to the 
Catholic Church. 

Mental reservation falls into two categories: (g) ^equivoca- 
tion, and (b) mental reservation proper. The greatest 
authority in thisliSS iT^SS^T^pROT^TTaguori, who was 
canonized in 1835. His Moral Theology is the recognized 
text-book on all questions of conscience. Other books on the 
subject, such as those of Gury, Dens, Stradler, and others, 
including contemporary American Catholic theological writers, 
are little more than extracts from his work. 

St. Alphonsus, quoted and requoted by the Popes, teaches 
Catholics how to avoid, when necessary, giving allegiance to 



CONSCIENCE, OF SPEECH, AND OF THE PRESS 157 

the State while pretending to do so; and, while fulfilling their 
duty as citizens, remain the faithful members of the Church, 
and thus not betray the obedience they owe to her to fight the 
State. This can be done with “ equivocation.” “ To swear 
with equivocation when there is a just cause is not evil,” 
declares the Father of Catholic Morality, “ because where there 
is just cause for concealing the truth and it is concealed without 
a lie, no detriment is done to the oath ... in the clear under¬ 
standing of what is said here . . . many distinctions are neces¬ 
sary. In the first place we are to distinguish that one is 
‘ double speaking ’ or equivocation, and the other mental 
reservation. Double speaking can be used in a threefold 
manner: 

“ (1) When words have a double sense; for instance, volo 
signifies to wish, and also to fly. 

“ (2) When an expression has a double meaning; e.g. 
This is Peter’s book can signify that Peter is either 
the owner of the book or the author of the book. 

“ (3) When words have a double meaning, one more 
common and the other less common. 

“ These things being established, it is certain and a common 
opinion amongst all divines that for a just cause it is lawful to 
use equivocation in the propounded modes, and to confirm it 
[equivocation] with an oath.” 

Catholics, therefore, can safely cheat a democracy or any 
civil authority, a dictatorship or, indeed, anyone, provided 
they do it for a “ just cause.” 

A typical instance of this occurred in August, 1931, when 
a royal decree forced all professors at Italian universities to 
sign an oath in which they had to swear to “ educate active 
and valiant citizens devoted to the country and to the Fascist 
Regime.” 

Many professors, some of whom were practising Catholics, 
were put before a tragic dilemma. Either they took the oath, 
forfeiting their self-respect and consciences, or they were dis¬ 
missed. The Catholic professors appealed to the Vatican. 
They did not wish to take the oath “ to the Fascist Regime.” 
On the other hand, they could not afford to lose their jobs. 
What was the Church’s advice ? 



I58 CATHOLIC OPPOSITION TO FREEDOM OF 

The Church advised “ equivocation.” On December 4, 
1931, the Osservatore Romano came out with an editorial* 
inspired by Pius XL In it the professors were told that in the 
formula of the oath the words “ Fascist Regime 55 meant* not 
the Fascist Regime, but the Government of the State—a State 
which could also be non-Fascist. The same article pretended 
also not to understand that the formula pledged those who 
took the oath to teach Fascist doctrines in all Italian universi¬ 
ties. The Vatican’s conclusion: the professors should take the 
oath. 

When a Catholic must take an oath of allegiance—e.g. to 
the Constitution—or must swear to observe loyally the laws of 
the State, and equivocation is not possible, then, provided he 
puts Catholic tenets first, he can lie, with the blessing of the 
Church. 

Thomas Sanchez, another luminary of Catholic theology, 
dealing with restrictio mentalis, says this: 

If anyone, by himself, or before others, where under examination of 
his own accord, whether for annulment or for any other purpose, should 
swear that he has not done something which he had really done, having 
in mind something else, which he has not done, or some way of doing it 
other than the way he employed, or anything else that is true, he does 
not lie nor perjure himself . 21 

This magic formula of mental reservation is strengthened by 
St. Liguori: 

.., although it is not lawful to lie, or to deign what is not; however it is 
lawful to dissemble what is, or to cover the truth with words, or other 
ambiguous and doubtful sign, for a just cause, and when there is not a 
necessity of confessing. 

It would be the greatest mistake to believe that this is mere 
theory. Catholics throughout the world practise it daily. It 
can serve the Church equally well in her dealings with or 
against democracies or totalitarianisms, Protestant, Catholic, or 
even non-Christian States. 

In the U.S.A., for instance, American Catholics are briefed 
by theologians on this tenet before taking any official oath in 
which they have to swear to be true to the American Constitu¬ 
tion. To be sure, this is not preached from the pulpits, nor is 
it required from the rank and file of the American Church. 



CONSCIENCE, OF SPEECH, AND OF THE PRESS I59 

It is required only from Catholics attaining eminent legal, 
JuridicaJh- executive, political, or army positions. To these 
individuals there are frequently attached theologians, usually 
Jesuits, to make sure that, while acting as Catholics first and 
citizens of the U.S. second, they remain enthusiastic supporters 
of the “ American way of life ” at all times—e.g. Senator 
Pat McCarran and Senator J. McCarthy—the two most 
unscrupulous champions of the technique of the Big Lie and 
of “ character-assassination ” in the U.S.A. 

In the U.S.A., England, Holland, France—that is to say, in 
Protestant, half-Protestant, and nominally Catholic countries 
with democratic governments—the “ magic formula ” of 
restrictio mentalis is made to work undetected, comparatively 
sporadically, and in a rather limited fashion. 

At times, however, it can be promoted on a large scale, 
openly and directly, by the local hierarchy, or even by the 
Vatican itself, (a) to support a Fascist dictatorship; (b) to 
oppose Communist regimes; ( c ) to appease a friendly nation; 
(d) to cheat the State by the promotion of tax evasion; (<?) to 
deceive other Christian Churches; and (f) to promote Catholic 
economic-social systems contrary to democracy. 

One of the most significant examples occurred with a Fascist 
dictatorship, again in Italy, in connexion with the Fascist oath 
of allegiance to Mussolini, obligatory for all who applied for 
membership to the Fascist Party. 

A good minority of Italian Catholics, who, by the way, had 
their party dissolved by direct orders from the Vatican (1926) 
and who were then advised by the Italian hierarchy to join 
the Fascist Party, appealed to the Pope about the implications 
of the oath. What were they to do? Did not the oath force 
them to put the Leader of Fascism before the Leader of the 
Church? And, if so, was not that a sin? 

Pope Pius XI, as in the case of the professors, solved the 
problem with the grand Catholic formula of “ mental reserva¬ 
tion.” Catholics could cheat the devil by taking the oath 
“ before God and their conscience,’Jjjt^yinfftoitAesi^m 
Reservation ‘‘exceptingjhelawsjofGodandThusG^^^^TEe 
Pope told them. Many did, ana tne fascist Party gained 
thousands of new members. 

This was not the only case. Catholics were told by the 



l6o CATHOLIC OPPOSITION TO FREEDOM OF 

Germany hierarchy to vote for Hitler in the Rhineland 
elections in 1936, by using the same formula. 22 

In Japan, during the Second World War, when the Govern¬ 
ment made it compulsory to pay homage to the Emperor, thus 
forcing Japanese Catholics to perform a pagan act of worship, 
the Church, which at first had refused to bow to such a law, 
finally advised her Japanese members (an important political 
agreement having meanwhile been reached between the 
Japanese militarists and the Vatican, as we shall presently see) 
to obey the new Imperial decree. How was this to be done? 
By using the magic formula of “ mental reservation.” 

After the Second World War the magic formula was used 
to deceive the Communist governments of Poland, Hungary, 
Czechoslovakia, and Rumania, and Catholics were duly coun¬ 
selled to take any oath necessary, provided they remembered 
the “ formula.” 

The magic formula is not used only for political purposes. 
It can be employed to cheat the government of any given 
nation, independently of its political system, provided the 
Church or her members can profit thereby—e.g. it can be used 
as an excuse for avoiding payment of taxation. 

Perhaps a typical instance can best illustrate this extra¬ 
ordinary Catholic morality: 

A priest inquired regarding a certain doctor who was doing much 
charity work and who had a large family. “ Did the doctor do wrong in 
failing to list his total income, thus escaping some of his taxes? [And] 
if it is in violation of legal justice, must a doctor make a readjustment 
of former tax returns? ” 

“ No, it would not be a violation of legal justice,” the priest was told, 
“ for those who hold that tax laws are merely penal laws, the solution 
is simple. In the case we have a doctor who is paying some of his 
income tax, but not all. Since tax rates are high, moralists teach that a 
person who conceals a third or a fourth fart of the real value of taxable 
property is not guilty of injustice. Even after deducting that amount, 
he has still fulfilled his obligation to the common good. (Noldin, II, 
N.316.) ... 

“ The answer to the second question is that, even though there is a 
violation of legal justice, there would be no obligation for the doctor to 
make a readjustment of his past income. A violation of legal justice does 
not carry with it the obligation of restitution. What has been written 
above pertains to the forum of conscience; the civil law takes a very 
strong stand on tax evasion.” 23 



CONSCIENCE, OF SPEECH, AND OF THE PRESS l6l 

That is not all. The same Catholic moral authority, 
referring to similar cases, was even more explicit: 

If an individual alleges money spent for charity that he has not spent, 
and also expediture in making money that he hasn’t actually made, he 
seems to be justified in evading taxation by so doing.. . . 24 

In conclusion, Catholic theologians, by telling Catholics to 
consider tax laws as “ penal laws ” and tax rates as excessive, 
advise the taxpayer that he is not under any obligation to file 
honest tax returns. 

When was such advice given ? Prior to the French Revolu¬ 
tion, when the whole tax burden had to be carried by the 
starving French peasantry, while the enormously wealthy 
aristocracy and even richer Catholic Church and Catholic 
clergy were wholly exempt from any form of taxation what¬ 
soever ? Such advice was given in this our- twentieth century. 
Where? In a Communist country, so that the taxpayer, by 
financially cheating an Atheistic regime, might contribute to 
its undermining and thus help in the destruction of the enemy 
of the Mother Church? Were the reply in the affirmative, 
many supporters of democracy, headed by certain elements in 
the U.S.A. and by the Vatican, would call such Catholic 
principles and practice a “ fight for freedom.” The majority 
of honest and straightforward Americans, however, will be 
somewhat puzzled when told that the Catholic Church gave 
such advice, not to Catholic taxpayers under the heel of 
Communist tyrannies, but to American taxpayers under the 
benevolent administration of democratic U.S.A. For it was, in 
fact, to the American taxpayers that Catholic theologians 
counselled such typical Catholic tax-dodging. 20 

This “ mental reservation ” or Catholic dishonesty is not 
made to work only in Catholic countries. It works also in 
Protestant lands. Indeed, Catholic chicanery in Protestant 
nations can reach an even higher—or, rather, lower—level in 
another no less important field: the religious. 

Transformed into a mixture of mental reservation, plus 
equivocation, plus pretence, plus silence, the “ magic formula ” 
became one of the permanent solutions of a most embarrassing 
Catholic tenet. This, it must be noted, not only in connexion 
with oaths of allegiance affecting the authority of the State, 



CATHOLIC OPPOSITION TO FREEDOM OF 


l62 

but in connexion also with certain basic tenets of Catholicism 
itself. E.g. no non-Catholic can be saved. The Fathers, 
theologians, and Popes have reiterated this theme ad nauseam. 
Pope Pius IX opened his Pontificate by repeating the doctrine 
in his first encyclical: 

Never at any time tolerate anything which may seem in the least 
degree to violate the purity of the Faith, and with no less determination 
promote among all men union with the Catholic Church, out of which 
there is no salvation. 


In super-Catholic countries like Franco’s Spain, as in any 
Catholic seminary the world over, this doctrine is so much 
part and parcel of Catholicism that it is hardly questioned. 
Yet what happens? When this same doctrine is brought to 
the fore in Protestant or democratic lands it is hardly men¬ 
tioned by the Catholics themselves: indeed, their Church has 
forbidden discussion on the subject. Altogether, the doctrine 
is taboo. 


four Catholic professors at the Jesuit 




easont lire Boston College's students were taught that 
may be salvation outside the Catholic Church. Tills, 
the tour professors iignfiy"' claimed"" was' agaxhsf' 111 the most 
fundamental teaching of Catholicism. The American 
hierarch y told the tour professors to keep s ilent . The Boston 
"CoIl^S—o?*Sry > ?ffl® l Tnttg5^SriEr , n!s.*^^they explained. 


College—o? a Sw 7 ^!^TnttgS^^SeT 13 ^.Ai —they explained , 
was teaching what th e American Church had umge^ttuseTul 

professonTwTaffly^on’tinued in their protests, they appealed 
directly to the Pope, asking him to remind the American 
hierarchy that it was their most sacred duty to teach the 
basic Papal tenet that “ outside the Church there is no 
salvation.” 


The American hierarchy, in the person of Arc^shgji 
Cushingj after having repeatedly reprimanded the zealous 
professors, dismissed them from the college. When, in spite 
of this, they continued to voice the basic Catholic doctrine of 
no salvation outside the Church, they were prohibited from 
teaching in any Catholic college, unlil final l y_thcv were 
threa tened with excommunication should they further raise 





CONSCIENCE, OF SPEECH, AND OF THE PRESS 163 

the question to the attention of a wider audience of the 
AmencanTT'roire'sitaht 1 public.''" .. ™ »'*•**■>**■»**■ 

“TSaT Jesuit priest, Fr. L. Feeney, noted 

American author and preacher, was also suspended for 
“ persistently teaching that there is no salvation outside the 
Catholic Church.” Indeed, American Catholics were for¬ 
bidden to attend his lectures or publicly support such a theory 
under pain of forfeiting the right to receive the sacraments. 

The “ magic formula,” reshaped, disguised, and blanketed 
in silence, was made to serve American Catholicism, to disguise 
itself in the apparel of American tolerance, and thus, bv avoid- 
ing antagonizing the Protestants with an unsavoury Catholic 
tenet, makeiFeasKrmr tneChurcn to penetrate their ranks. 

lhe magic formula can be made to serve Catholic 
opportunism, in which art the Church has always been a 
master. Typical example: Catholic promotion of the Cor¬ 
porate State, a political-economic hybrid incorporating Catholic 
social-economic teaching. 

After the First World War the Corporate State became 
synonymous with Fascism. Wherever Fascism flourished, 
there the corporate system was to be found. Fascist Italy, 
Dolfuss’s Austria, Petain’s France, were Corporate States; 
Portugal and Spain, as well as various Latin-American coun¬ 
tries, prided themselves on Corporativism. The Corporate 
State was a creature of the Catholic Church. Its foundation 
stones: Leo XIII’s Rerum Nova-rum, and Pius XI’s Quadrige- 
simo Anno. 

As long as the Fascist fabric stood, the Church supported it. 
No sooner had Fascism vanished than the Church discarded 
it. In its place she erected a new political ideology, which she 
boldly labelled Christian Democracy. Christian Democracy, 
however, was but a decoy: a tactical move, a bid for time, 
which had to be accepted, the better to prepare a return of 
Corporativism. That this was so was proved by the fact that 
this same Christian Democracy was condemned as soon as it 
was born. Sangnier, its creator, had not yet begun to preach 
Christian Democratic ideals, and his famous social-action 
group, called the Sillon (the Furrow), was still a tender infant 
when the Pope condemned it, its initiator, and his principles. 
This was before the First World War. As long as Fascism 



CATHOLIC OPPOSITION TO FREEDOM OF 


164 

adopted the corporate doctrines the social teaching of the 
Church was Corporativism. When the Fascist edifice 
collapsed Corporativism had to be relegated to the background 
and the condemned doctrines preached by Sangnier were 
officially adopted. These were precisely the same ones which 
the Vatican had banned before the rise of Fascism, the only 
difference being that, once Fascism vanished, they fitted far 
better into a democratized post-War Europe than did the 
too-compromised corporate system. How much better suited 
they were was proved by the fact that within a few years 
Catholic Christian Democracy was in power in practically 
every European country, including Italy, France, and Ger¬ 
many, and had become the dominating ideology of Europe. 

Catholic Christian Democracy, however, although clothed 
in up-to-date democratic dress, stood basically on the same 
foundations as Corporativism. Most of the sundry budding 
European extremisms of the Right made no bones about it. 
In Germany, for instance, Catholic Chancellor Adenauer 
openly attempted to erect a German Corporate State under the 
guise of Economic Councils. 

Here a diluted “ magic formula ” was directed at promoting 
Catholic social teaching, with as little antagonism as possible, 
among democratic nations, particularly Protestant ones. 

The “ magic formula,” in this as in other fields, was purely 
a temporary and deceptive device of Catholic strategy, directed 
at undermining the democratic and Protestant fabric of 
Western society, this being so because Catholic hatred of 
democracy and Liberalism is as unquenchable as ever. When¬ 
ever the opportunity arises the Catholic Church does not 
hesitate to say so and to act accordingly, without compunction. 

A most striking example was that of Fascist Spain, where 
the Catechism was taught compulsorily in all schools. A Brief 
and Simple Explanation of the Catholic Catechism, distributed 
in hundreds of thousands, taught undiluted Catholic social and 
political teaching. Here are a few of its questions and 
answers: 

Q. What of Communism, Socialism, Modern Democracy, 
Anarchism, and the like sects ? 

A. They are contrary to Catholic faith, to justice, and to 
all virtue, and as such condemned by the Church. 



CONSCIENCE, OF SPEECH, AND OF THE PRESS 1 65 

Q. Do not they say that they want to root out from the 
world the abuses of the rich and to regenerate 
Society? 

A. They say so; but their doctrines and works prove the 
contrary. 

Q- To what do they pertain? 

A. To Luther and other arch-heretics who, with the 
pretence of reforming the Church, teach and practise 
all kinds of vices. (P. 419.) 

Many might approve of this, anything that opposes Com¬ 
munism to them being right. But the Catechism did not 
teach Spanish youth to reject only Communism, Socialism, 
Anarchism, and “like sects.” It dealt very extensively with 
Liberalism: 

Q. What are liberal principles ? 

A. Those of 1789: so-called national sovereignty, free¬ 
dom of religious cults, freedom of the Press, freedom 
of instruction, universal morality, and other such. 

0 . What consequences result from these? 

A. Secular schools, impious and immodest periodicals, 
civil marriage, heretical Churches in Catholic coun¬ 
tries, abolition of ecclesiastical immunities . . ., etc. 

Q. What does the Church teach about these? 

A. That they are most disastrous and anti-Christian. 

Q. What more? 

A. That they never can be accepted as good, and may be 
tolerated only for as long and in so far as they cannot 
be opposed without creating a worse evil. (P. 400.) 

That was not enough. Questions were asked to the effect 
whether certain forms of Liberalism could be accepted by 
Catholics. Lamennais, who loomed prominent in the social 
and political affairs of French and European Catholicism in 
the first half of the last century, came out with a formula, 
which he called “ Catholicizing Liberalism,” and was 
promptly condemned. That was when Liberalism was con¬ 
sidered as revolutionary as Communism is today. Since then, 
Catholic antagonism has been profoundly modified, owing to 
the transformed political habitat. Basically, however, it 
remains the same. In fact, where the Church is all-powerful, 



i66 


CATHOLIC OPPOSITION TO FREEDOM OF 


and therefore has little or nothing to fear, she dares to expound 
her doctrines in full. The Spanish Catechism could not be 
more explicit about it: 

Q. Then there is no grade of Liberalism that can be 
good? 

A. None; because Liberalism is mortal sin and anti- 
Christian in essence. (P. 390.) 

Q. Then whoever is liberal in politics sins? 

A. Certainly: because in liberal politics there exists that 
Liberalism which the Church condemns. 

Q. And if by “ Liberal ” is understood something not 
condemned by the Pope? 

A. Then he sins in calling himself Liberal, knowing that 
the Pope condemns Liberalism... . 

Q. Then a Catholic must be anti-Liberal? 

A. Without a doubt; exactly as he must be anti-Protestant 
or anti-Freemason; in short, against all the contraries 
to Christ and his Church. (Pp. 408-9.) 

Such teaching was not given only in schools. It was 
officially preached, in 1951 and 1952, by the Spanish hierarchy, 
as proved by the instructions issued by the Metropolitan Arch¬ 
bishops of Spain, and signed by the Cardinal of Toledo, in 
which they condemned Liberalism on the ground that it 
undermined civil authority by recognizing liberties that were 
contrary to the common good, because they were contrary to 
those preached by the Church. In 1951 the Bishop Builes of 
Santa Rosa, Colombia, South America, issued a pastoral letter 
on the dangers of Protestantism, recommending “ the extermin¬ 
ation of all anti-Catholics, including members of the Liberal 
Party A 26 

The Catholic Church, therefore, notwithstanding all her 
tactical moves and dishonest opportunism, has remained 
fundamentally anti-democratic in essence, belief, and practice. 
Characteristics, these, which are fully shared by all her 
members. 

And this is so by the mere fact that her members, having to 
obey their Church, are if so facto put outside the pale of any 
truly democratic society—social or economic democracy being 
to them anathema, as it is to their Church. Which implies 



CONSCIENCE, OF SPEECH, AND OF. THE PRESS 167 

that a good Catholic who claims to be also a good democrat is 
not only a contradiction in terms: he is an impossibility. 

Such a statement may seem a rash one in view of the 
millions of Catholics in many countries who support 
democracy. That there are millions of such Catholics it would 
be foolish to deny. On the other hand, the contention that 
these are simultaneously good Catholics and good democrats 
cannot be accepted. And this for the following reasons : 

(a) If they are good Catholics, they will invariably prove 

to be hostile to democracy. 

(b) If they are good democrats, they will, on examination, 

prove to be bad Catholics, paying no heed to their 
Church. 

(c) If they claim and seem to be both good Catholics and 

good democrats, then they are hypocrites, and their 
acceptance of democracy or Catholicism is a pretence. 

Category (a) as a rule are in a minority and will be found in 
every Catholic community. Category ( b ) usually can be met 
in nominally Catholic countries. Category (c) are found 
mostly in non-Catholic lands, particularly in the predominandy 
Protestant ones. 

Even when Catholics have been thus screened and sub¬ 
divided, there can still be found a substantial number of them 
who are good members of their Church and good members of 
society, and who are therefore good citizens. These can be 
found in substantial numbers in both Protestant and nominally 
Catholic countries, and are numerous in the latter. The more 
backward a country, the more numerous they will be there. 
They belong to the fourth category: to the ignorant rank and 
file of the Catholic masses. 

Catholic masses, like all masses, have never excelled for the 
brilliance of their brains. The more ignorant they are in 
social, political, and, indeed, even religious matters, the easier 
for their leaders to use them as most pliable tools. 

Following the Second World War, one of the major tasks of 
the Catholic Church was to cultivate the legend that she could, 
and in fact did, champion democracy. Many, especially 
Americans, came truly to believe the myth. This, thanks not 



CATHOLIC OPPOSITION TO FREEDOM OF 


168 

only to their individual lack of discernment, but mostly to 
their incredible ignorance about Catholic social teaching; an 
ignorance purposely cultivated by the Church herself. 

Like all Catholic hierarchies, so also the American did not, 
of course, believe in such a fantastic legend. Yet they 
cunningly promoted the fable, in order to deceive simul¬ 
taneously the credulous Catholic masses and their democratic 
governments, and hence also Western society. Their objective: 
the undetected undermining of democratic freedom. The 
word “ freedom ” has nowhere so ill a sound as in the 
Catholic Church. The Church knows only one kind of free¬ 
dom : Catholic freedom, synonymous with total Church 
dominion over the individual, the State, and the community. 

The claims of the Catholic Church that she is the defender 
of civic liberties, consequently, are deceitful, untrue, and dis¬ 
honest. Her fundamental dictum in the past, as now, has 
always been the same old one: 

I am in the right, and you are in the wrong. When you are the 
stronger you ought to tolerate me; for it is your duty to tolerate truth. 
But when I am the stronger, I shall persecute you; for it is my duty to 
persecute error. 27 

That is something which had better be remembered, free¬ 
dom having often been made to perish because of forgetfulness 
of some such simple truth. 


As Catholics must look to the Pope in religious and moral 
matters, and as it rests with him to judge which law is just or 
unjust, it follows that Catholics, being primarily Catholics and 
secondarily citizens, owing their first obedience to their 
supreme leader, can be, and in fact are, the most dangerous 
instruments at the disposal of a power alien to the State, hostile 
to the basic tenets of freedom, and hence the greatest enemies 
of true democracies. 

Their status becomes even more ambiguous when it is 
remembered that the Pope claims their absolute obedience 
independently of whether the State of which they are citizens 
is hostile or friendly, wholly Catholic, Protestant, or non- 
Christian. 



CONSCIENCE, OF SPEECH, AND OF THE PRESS 169 

Such obedience must not be given “ in shreds,” but must be 
perfected to the point where Catholics have to bow to the Pope 
“as to God Himself.” These last words. Papal words, are 
worthy, perhaps, of a fuller quotation: 

Union of minds requires not only a perfect accord in one Faith, but 
complete submission and obedience of will to the Church and to the 
Roman Pontiff, as to God Himself. This obedience, however, should be 
perfect, because it is enjoined by faith itself, and has this in common 
with faith, that it cannot be given in shreds. 28 

The full significance of such a statement: the Catholic 
Church has the right to use Catholics against whomsoever— 
man, institution, or State—is hostile to her. 

Men, institutions, and States upholding the liberties of 
genuine modern democracy fall into such a category. 

It is no exaggeration to say, therefore, that Catholics are 
very dangerous to all those principles without which no 
democracy can flourish, and that they form the most inter¬ 
nationally anti-democratic party in the world. Further, that, 
besides being members of a party, they are units of an army. 
More, that they belong to an organization which is both party 
and army, cemented as no other by an unshakeable belief that, 
having a spiritual as well as a political mission, it need stop at 
nothing in order to further its conquests. And its conquests 
are not confined to Western society. They embrace the whole 
world. 

When Catholic principles are brought into the realm of 
practical politics, consequently, the smooth working of society, 
and hence of the internal and external life of States, can 
depend upon the decisions taken, not by the people represented 
by democratically elected congresses, parliaments, and govern¬ 
ments, but by the Pope: a ruler standing aloof upon a 
hierarchical pinnacle, as the living embodiment neither of true 
religion nor of true liberty, but as the vulturine symbol of that 
most malignantly perilous of all totalitarianisms, the Catholic 
Church. 




THE HIDDEN MIGHT OF CATHOLIC 
DIPLOMACY 


P OWER IS ORGANIZATION. WITHOUT IT, 

it could be so dispersed as to become 
nil. With it, it can be so streng¬ 
thened as to become irresistible. The Vatican has erected its 
diplomacy upon both; that is to say, upon its diplomatic 
machinery and upon the religious machinery of the Catholic 
Church. The first could not function or, indeed, exist without 
the second. 

It is the religious organization of the Catholic Church 
which, by endowing Vatican diplomacy with efficiency, pro¬ 
vides it also with exceptional power. This is so, owing to the 
fact that in each of its official diplomatic representatives there 
is hidden a Catholic priest. As a priest is a blind cog in the 
vast organizational religious machinery of the Catholic 
Church, it follows that, being an integral part of it, he becomes 
automatically an integral part of Vatican diplomacy. 

The significance of this is portentous. For it implies the 
partial or even total identification of Vatican diplomats with 
the Catholic hierarchy—namely, with all the countless religious 
and subsidiary lay units of the Catholic Church, functioning at 
every level and capable of reaching, with equal effectiveness, 
all rank and file. In concrete terms, this signifies that the 

170 



THE HIDDEN MIGHT OF CATHOLIC DIPLOMACY I7I 

Vatican diplomat has at his disposal any of the Church’s repre¬ 
sentatives, wherever and whenever he likes. This can mean 
a local bishop, but also the hierarchy of a whole country and, 
at times, even those of sundry lands, or, indeed, of the whole 
world. 

The mobilization by Papal diplomats of the religious might 
of the Church is silently, smoothly, and efficiently accom¬ 
plished whenever necessary. That is possible mainly thanks 
to the fact that the whole world has been divided and sub¬ 
divided into numerous ecclesiastical provinces, whose head¬ 
quarters are at the Vatican. These ecclesiastical areas—e.g. 
patriarchates, metropolitan sees, archdioceses, dioceses, pre- 
latures, abbeys-nullius, vicariates apostolic, prefectures apos¬ 
tolic, missions, and smaller units—are headed by patriarchs, 
cardinals, archbishops, bishops, or minor ecclesiastics. 

Such a vast ecclesiastical organization is kept together by 
the inflexible, unbreakable mesh of a global administrative net, 
spreading Catholic religious and political tentacles all over the 
world. At the top of it all there stands the Pope, the undis¬ 
puted Head of bom the Church and the Vatican. Under him, 
wholly subservient, there are the powerful heads of the 
religious, administrative, and political Congregations, round 
which the whole machinery of both Church and Vatican is 
made to revolve—e.g. the Prefect of the Congregation of the 
Propaganda of the Faith, known as the ‘MRe^J^gpe,” and the 
Superior General of the Jesuits, known as the “ Black Pope.” 

The “ three Popes ” can put the 1,500 bishops and arch- 
bishops scattered in all lands at the disposal of any of the 
Vatican’s diplomatic representatives, who thus can employ the 
Church’s machinery for each ecclesiastical area—of which 
there are almost 2,000 in the world—according to his needs. 

To these can be added the missions, run by approximately 
27,000 priests, 10,000 brothers, 62,000 sisters, and 85,000 cate¬ 
chists. The missions’ exertions should not be underestimated. 
In the last twenty-five years they have increased from 400 to 
almost 600, Catholics under them from 15,000,000 to 28,000,000, 
native and foreign priests from 11,000 to 27,000, students in 
seminaries from 1,700 to 4,300, high schools from 1,600 to 
over 5,000. One missionary organization alone, the Pontifical 
Society of the Holy Childhood, for instance, within one 



172 THE HIDDEN MIGHT OF CATHOLIC DIPLOMACY 

hundred years baptized 34,000,000 infants in non-Christian 
lands. 

Besides the regular and missionary clergy, the nuncio has at 
his disposal all the vast machinery of the religious orders—e.g. 
the Salesians, with 16,000 members; the Religious Institutes, 
such as the Brothers of the Christian Schools, with about 
15,000 members; the Monastic Orders, such as the Benedic¬ 
tines, with total of 12,000 professed members; the Franciscans 
with 24,000, tire Jesuits with over 30,000, the total number 
of priests and other members of Orders of men running to 
over 220,000, and that of nuns and sisters to over 600,000. 

Most of these are not contemplative: they are extremely 
active, and hence capable of widespread influence. As a rule 
they specialize in educational or social works—for instance, 
the Salesians, already mentioned, with their “ lay priests,” 
whose main task is to run colleges and who look after 450,000 
student pupils in sixty-four different nations; or the Company 
of St. Paul, whose main object is to fight the Church’s 
ideological enemies. 

Other kinds of organization specialize in social problems or 
run technical training colleges, schools of journalism, propa¬ 
ganda, Press, films, radio, television. 

Many, although not congregations in the strict meaning of 
the word, are nonetheless powerful, semi-religious units— 
e.g. the League of the Sacred Heart; the Apostleship of 
Prayer, whose object is the defence of the Pope and the spread¬ 
ing of Catholicism in the world. The members of most of 
such units usually run into millions. The League of the 
Sacred Heart alone totals over 30,000,000 adherents, and has 
its official organ published in forty languages. 

Others are even more laicized, and have specific social and 
political tasks. For instance, the Sword of the Spirit, the 
Catholic Women’s League, the National Catholic Youth 
Council, and the Pontifical Aid Commission, which runs over 
3,000 summer camps with more than one million children, 
and which, within one single year, distributed 37,000,000 
bowls of soup. Other units specialize in helping destitute 
children, war orphans, students, refugees, returning soldiers, 
emigrants, and juvenile delinquents. 

Thus, with the regular clergy, the missionaries and the reli- 



THE HIDDEN MIGHT OF CATHOLIC DIPLOMACY I73 

gious, the Vatican has at its disposal a colossal army, 1,000,000 
strong. But its strength lies not so much in its numbers as in its 
quality. For it must be remembered that it is an army formed 
by a highly disciplined elite, detached from personal or local 
ties, set apart, living their lives only for the service of the 
Catholic Church and hence of the Pope, and posted within 
the borders of every county, country, island, and continent. 
When it is remembered that each one of them, a blind instru¬ 
ment of the Pope, is tightly controlled from the Vatican, it is 
easy to see that the power of its nuncios can be strengthened, 
whenever necessary, not only in any ecclesiastical, missionary, 
or religious areas into which the country to which a nuncio 
has been appointed is divided, not only in the whole country 
itself, but often in a whole group of nations or, indeed, a 
whole continent. 

Even this is not enough. To complement these activities 
the Vatican has at its disposal numberless other Catholic 
organizations whose tasks range from the distribution of 
pamphlets in the streets to lobbying in Congress. These were 
co-ordinated into one single movement in December, 1922, 
by Pope Pius XI, with his encyclical Ubi Arcano, and was 
called Catholic Action. Catholic Action is less an organization 
than a programme, and emphasizes the promotion of Catholic 
aims by the lay apostolate. Its activities embrace all fields, 
from the intellectual to the manual, from the social to the 
political. 

Typical Catholic Actionists: the members of the Crusades 
of Leafleteers, a group who seek to make converts by sending 
pamphlets through the post and leaving them in buses, trains, 
telephone booths—e.g. Mr. Edward Starks, of Buffalo, U.S.A., 
who distributed one million pamphlets to non-Catholics. 

Catholic Action may take the form of individual or mass 
letter-writing—e.g. Mr. John Duffy, of West Kilbridge, Eng¬ 
land, who since 1912 wrote 1,547 l etters t0 editors in the 
cause of Catholic truth, of which 1,126 were published—or 
collective protest and intimidation directed at Deputies, Con¬ 
gressmen, Senators, and other politicians; or well-planned, 
persistent mass advertising, as done by the Knights of 
Columbus, of America, in their Catholic advertising campaign 
in the American Press, inserting their propaganda in news- 



174 the hidden might of catholic diplomacy 

papers and magazines with a total circulation of over thirty 
million. 

It can create a motion-picture censorship feared by the whole 
industry—e.g. the Legion of Decency in the U.S.A.; or go so 
far as to picket cinemas to prevent a film being shown once the 
Church has objected to it—e.g. after CamfinalSpellma^called 
upon Catholics to boycott a film, hundreds of Catholic ex-Ser- 
vicemen began to picket a New York cinema, declaring they 
would force the picture off the screen. 1 

It can organize Catholics to fight a whole government for 
building blocks of flats instead of houses, on the ground that 
flats are conducive to divorce and that in them couples restrict 
the number of children to be born, for lack of space, and that 
hence the building of flats is an anti-Catholic policy—e.g. in 
Holland, where in 1947 the Catholic People’s Party launched 
a family policy calling for wide concessions designed to help 
large families; or in Germany in 1951-2, when the Christian 
Democratic Union Party (Catholic) conducted a campaign for 
the building of separate family houses, calling any other 
decision a Communist scheme: this on the ground that the 
Socialists had justified the erection of large blocks of flats by 
pointing out that the one-child family had become common. 
In this last example, the fight was conducted not only in the 
Press but also in Parliament. Indeed, the whole of the 
Catholic Building Societies were mobilized and charged with 
building only houses, with the result that whereas, for instance, 
in the years between 1945 and 1948 Catholic agencies built 
2,000 dwellings tor 10,000 people, in 1949 they built 5,500 for 
25,000 people, and in 1950 21,000 houses for 90,000 people. 

The Premier of a country can become a Catholic Actionist 
on a grand scale. Like the Italian Premier, De Gasperi, by 
refusing to scrap a treaty favouring the Church—e.g. the 
Lateran Treaty and the Concordat, both signed by Mussolini 
—and by eliminating a national holiday—e.g. September 20— 
because it was in commemoration of the date when the Italians 
wrested Rome from the Popes in 1870. Or like Peron, Argen¬ 
tine dictator, when he granted an amnesty to many prisoners, 
in deference to the wishes of the Pope, to mark Holy Year, 

I95 °- 

Lobbying is Catholic Action of the same category. On an 



THE HIDDEN MIGHT OF CATHOLIC DIPLOMACY 175 

even bigger scale is the engineering of colossal slander cam- 
paigns, in which pursuit Catholics are unsurpassed—e.g. the 
one started and carried out with immense political reverbera¬ 
tions by Catholic Senator McCarthy against the U.S. State 
Department in 1950,1951, and 1952. 

Anything aimed at the direct or indirect furtherance of 
Catholic influence is Catholic Action. 

This many-sided movement, it should be remembered, is 
world-wide. It can operate in the most unlikely regions. For 
example, in China, where sixteen Catholic representatives, 
during the Chiang Kai Shek regime, were members of the 
National Assembly, and largely through their efforts Arch¬ 
bishop Yu Pin, of Nanking, in 1947 succeeded in inserting a 
paragraph in the Constitution pledging the Chinese Govern¬ 
ment to a programme of social welfare along the lines of the 
Papal encyclicals. Catholic Action in China went so far as to 
persuade Chiang Kai Shek to have China’s new Constitution 
take effect from Christmas Day, the date proposed by Arch¬ 
bishop Yu Pin, instead of from October 10, a national holiday, 
or November 12, birthday of Sun Yat Sen, the national hero: 
the equivalent of this being that Buddhists should succeed in 
including Buddhist teaching in the Constitution of the U.S.A., 
and make the national day the date of the birth of Buddha. 

All such activities, great or small, when persistently carried 
out can ultimately become of great political significance. For 
Catholic Action co-ordinates them, not at any particular 
moment or in any given place, but perpetually, at all times, in 
all places, and by every means. 

Their significance is even more ominous when it is remem¬ 
bered that they are directed by the hierarchy. Pius XII was 
very explicit about this: “The Hierarchy has the right to 
command and issue instructions and directions, and Catholic 
Action must place all its energies at the disposal of the Hier¬ 
archy” (1940). In short, at the disposal of the Pope, and 
hence of his representatives accredited to foreign governments. 

In this way, the Vatican’s representative is far more powerful 
than the representative of any nation, having at his disposal, 
besides the Catholic hierarchy of the country to which he has 
been sent, all the numerous religious institutions, organizations, 
and bodies, not to mention all good Catholics within that 
G 



176 THE HIDDEN MIGHT OF CATHOLIC DIPLOMACY 

country and, indeed, the potential power of the whole machin¬ 
ery of the Catholic Church, inside and outside it. 


In addition to the above, the nuncio has at his disposal an 
essentially political weapon which at times can truly influence 
the national social, political, and economic life—namely, the 
Catholic Party. 

The Catholic Party is animated by the principles of Catho¬ 
licism, and its goal is to influence the political, moral, social, 
and cultural legislation of the nation in which it has been 
organized, with a view to harmonizing them with Catholic 
tenets. 

In practically all nominally Catholic countries, and even in 
some Protestant ones, there have been or are powerful Catholic 
movements which, although claiming to have nothing to do 
with the Vatican, work in close and obvious co-operation with 
it; indeed, which are operated from Rome, where very often 
their policy, tactics, and grand strategy are conceived, directed, 
and made to work within the national and international 
framework of Vatican world policy. 

A Catholic Party, generally speaking, is the most obvious 
political instrument employed by the Vatican to further the 
interests of the Church via politics. That being so, it follows 
that it must be in die closest touch with the political representa¬ 
tive of die Vatican, i.e. the Papal Nuncio, who usually advises 
its leaders, informs the Pope of its activities, and, in short, 
becomes the unofficial liaison between a political movement in 
a given country and a political power, the Vatican, outside that 
country which yet directly interferes in the life of that country. 

Sometimes, on serious occasions, this semi-official liaison is 
ignored, and the Party gets into direct touch with the Vatican, 
or vice versa. This has occurred many times since the Catholic 
Parties first came into existence—that is to say, from the time 
of Leo XIII, in the nineteenth century, when they were first 
formed in opposition to Liberalism. Since then they have 
multiplied in and outside Europe, and by the beginning of the 
present century, in close alliance with the Catholic trade unions, 
they were already extremely important. The most powerful, 
until the advent of Hitler, were the Mittel-partei, or Centre 



THE HIDDEN MIGHT OF CATHOLIC DIPLOMACY 1 77 

Party, in Germany, the Catholic Party in Italy, the Austrian 
Christian Social Party, and many others with similar names. 

From their first appearance they were openly acknowledged, 
both by the Catholic Church and by her members, to be 
political weapons intended to be used for the furtherance of 
Catholicism in the modern world; for the fight against 
Modernism, Secularism, Liberalism, and Democracy up to the 
outbreak of the First World War; and against any Left-Wing 
movements led by Socialism or Communism since then. 

Their directives were and are very elastic, and are the mirror 
of the prevalent grand strategy of the Vatican in various parts 
of the world, according to political trends, so that these 
Catholic Parties advocate both the democratic and the authori¬ 
tarian forms of government, and sometimes a mixture of the 
two. 

Since their creation they have in monarchical countries 
supported kingships, while in republics they have restored 
monarchical rule. Before the First World War they were 
decidedly anti-Semitic. Between the two World Wars, most 
of them supported Fascism and, when they were not sup¬ 
pressed, became totalitarian. The most striking characteristic 
of the Parties was that in all cases they consisted practically one 
hundred per cent of Catholics. More often than not, priests 
and prelates were their most zealous members and their official 
leaders—e.g. Mgr. Kaas in Germany, Dom Sturzo in Italy, 
Mgr. Seipel in Austria, Mgr. Tiso in Slovakia—who never 
took a serious step without first conferring with the Papal 
Nuncios or direct with the Vatican. 

After the Second World War they were resuscitated, and, 
owing to the growing urgency of social problems and the 
pressure of Socialism, they adopted a Christian-Social pro¬ 
gramme. In Europe they donned democratic attire, but 
remained authoritarian in spirit and practice. They were the 
Parties of the Centre or of the extreme Right, while in various 
countries they were openly reactionary. 

Most of them, however, having been reborn in a democra¬ 
tized world, became mass parties with a popular platform and 
with emphasis on social problems. Hence- some of them 
calling themselves Christian Social Parties. Parties of this 
type included the M.R.P. (Mouvement Republicain Populaire) 



178 THE HIDDEN MIGHT OF CATHOLIC DIPLOMACY 

in France, the Christian Democrats in Italy, the Christian 
Socialists in Belgium, the Christian Democratic Party in 
Germany, the Austrian People’s Party in Austria. Most 
political parties in Europe were, for all practical purposes, 
Catholic Parties. The Swiss and Dutch Catholic Parties were 
also important in their countries. 

Others remained blatantly Fascist. For instance, Franco’s 
Falange in Spain and Salazar’s National Union in Portugal. 
And in Latin America the Catholic Parties continued to 
be the most reactionary political movements, being Fascist, 
clerical, and stubborn supporters of landlordism. 

Each of these parties plays a paramount role in the political 
life of the country where it exists. Indeed, cases where they 
were the dominating political factors were by no means rare. 
In Spain and Portugal, for instance, they were for decades the 
only existing parties. In Europe, only a few years after the 
Second World War, reborn political Catholicism was at the 
head of ten European governments west of the Iron Curtain— 
i.e. Italy, Austria, Germany, France, Belgium, Luxemburg, 
Holland, Eire, Spain, and Portugal—whereas in Eastern 
Europe Catholic Parties, although greatly reduced and, indeed, 
suppressed, continued to be the centres of the fiercest opposi¬ 
tion to the Communist governments, particularly in Czecho¬ 
slovakia, Poland, and Hungary. In Central and South 
America Catholic Parties as a rule are in command of the fate 
of governments, when they are not governments themselves. 
Here again, organized political Catholicism is confined neither 
to Europe nor to the Americas. It is active in Africa and Asia. 
In Egypt there was a Christian Democratic Party composed of 
Catholics, Protestants, and Orthodox, but Catholic-dominated, 
in a country where Christians constitute about fifteen per cent 
of the total population of 20,000,000; and in Indonesia the 
Catholic Party played no mean part in the political life of the 
young Indonesian Federation. 


Political Catholicism, however, does not show itself only as 
political parties. Often it is not organized as a political move¬ 
ment at all. It can be left as a loose amalgamation of Catholic 
activities, which, nevertheless, may make it no less powerful. 



THE HIDDEN MIGHT OF CATHOLIC DIPLOMACY 179 

This happens in countries where the Vatican has decided it 
can promote its political influence by different means. For 
instance, in England. 

In England, although with no Catholic Party, there is 
organized political activity on the part of the Catholic minority, 
whose weight, particularly at the Foreign Office, is at times 
disproportionate. 

In view of the oblique working of political Catholicism, both 
in England and in the U.S.A., it might, perhaps, be useful to 
examine it at greater length than we have its typical exertions 
in other countries. 

Political Catholicism in England deserves further attention 
as a remarkable example of how the Vatican can influence the 
social and political conduct of a nation without the people at 
large being in the least aware of it. Such unawareness is due 
mainly to the absence of any Catholic body dealing specifically 
with political matters. English Catholics have never seriously 
attempted to create a Catholic Party, or officially to organize 
themselves into a specific political body. On the contrary, they 
seem to distinguish themselves from the Catholics of other 
nations by the fact that they like to give the impression of 
being not at all concerned, as Catholics, with the political life 
of their own country. Hence the widespread belief that 
Vatican influence in English affairs is almost nil. 

The reality, however, is otherwise. The complete absence 
of co-ordination of English political Catholicism is not due so 
much to the smallness of the British Catholic body—3,000,000 
in a population of about 50,000,000. It is a well-calculated 
strategy of Vatican diplomacy, aware that England has always 
been extremely sensitive about the political nature of the 
Catholic Church. The remark made by Queen Victoria, “ Am 
I still Queen of England? ” when informed of the ecclesiastical 
changes made by the restoration of the hierarchy of England 
and Wales, decreed in Rome in 1850, was typical of the intense 
suspicion with which Protestant England has always regarded 
and still regards the claims of the Catholic Church, aware how 
such claims cannot be confined to religious matters. 

Because of this it has been the main strategic rule of the 
Vatican to avoid any form of organized political Catholicism 
which might unduly awaken this dormant but real watchful- 



l8o THE HIDDEN MIGHT OF CATHOLIC DIPLOMACY 

ness. Hence the adoption of a diametrically opposite policy to 
that pursued in other lands. Political pressure here is exercised 
indirectly, unofficially, and mostly undetected by an extremely 
small Catholic group posted in key social and diplomatic 
positions. 

This does not mean that the English hierarchy does not 
attempt to influence, as far as it dare, Catholic congregations 
and, indeed, even public opinion on social and political 
matters. It does, and at times forcibly. 

Thus sermons can be openly preached against ideologies 
hostile to “ Christian civilization ” wherever such ideologies 
can safely be identified with certain political movements at 
home and abroad unpopular with the public and fought by the 
Vatican—e.g. Communism—or upon certain social issues, such 
as the question of Catholic schools, secular education, or just 
schools in general. Cardinal Griffin, for example, went so 
far as to ask the Labour Government that over 2,000 teachers 
in State schools, whom he considered to be Communists, 
should be dismissed (May, 1950). 

This kind of pressure, as everywhere else, can yield concrete 
results in local and general elections, particularly where 
Catholics are strong. Mr. P. Piratin, Communist M.P., was 
beaten in spring 1950 by a Catholic, Mr. W. J. Edwards; and 
Mr. Gallacher, also a Communist M.P., after the same elections 
openly blamed Catholics for his defeat. 

After these successes, the Catholic hierarchy became so bold 
as openly to declare that it was their hope and, indeed, inten¬ 
tion to “ hold the balance of power ” in the political life of the 
country. 

That such a proposal should come from a minority group of 
only 3,000,000 was not astonishing. It was even less so when 
it is remembered that, at the time it was publicly uttered, Eng¬ 
land found herself in the most awkward political situation. 
After five years of Labour government, the British electorate 
had returned Labour with only a small margin (1950). At a 
second general election, in 1951, Labour fell, and a Tory 
government, headed by Churchill, was returned in its stead, 
but, again, by a very narrow margin. Catholics saw in this an 
opportunity to play the role of the Catholic Centre Party in 
Germany before Hitler, as we shall presently see. The Catholic 



THE HIDDEN MIGHT OF CATHOLIC DIPLOMACY l8j 

Archbishop o£ Liverpool, referring to the way the country had 
been divided “ pretty equally ” between two parties, could not 
resist the alluring vision of political Catholicism dominating the 
House of Commons: “I think that this state of things will go 
on for some time,” he said. “ I hope it will, because the longer 
it goes on, the stronger will be our influence ,as a Catholic 
body, and I think we may yet get the privilege of holding the 
balance of power . . . there is no doubt that the Catholic vote 
is becoming more and more important.” 2 

These remarks were ominous, as they indicated in which 
direction English political Catholicism had begun to be 
orientated. 

But where the unofficial Catholic pressure group begins to 
exert undue political influence in relation to its size is in the 
Press, the trade unions, and, above all, in the social and political 
upper strata. 

From the beginning of the Second World War, Catholics 
infiltrated in considerable numbers into the British national 
Press (e.g. Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, Daily Express, 
Times, Observer) and into the great British Press Trusts, such 
as the Rothermere and Kemsley groups, the popular weekly 
Press, and such other moulders of public opinion as the B.B.C. 
with more than remarkable success, Catholic individuals often 
holding positions which enabled them to exert a great influence 
in those specific spheres. 

In the trade unions the Catholic Church penetrated with 
considerable success, supplemented by the main exponents of 
Catholic trade unionism or bodies dealing with Labour and 
Trade Unions, whose ultimate purpose was to sway the labour 
in general to pursue policies conforming to Catholic tenets. 

These activities of a definitely political nature, although 
remarkable in themselves owing to their quasi-unobtrusiveness, 
pale into insignificance when compared with the influence 
exercised by the Catholic Church by her penetration into the 
higher social strata of English blood and money aristocracy. 
Several important aristocratic families, some very close to the 
Royal Family and personal friends of its members, were 
staunch Catholics (e.g. the Duke of Norfolk). Although 
officially their influence is restricted, yet unofficially it can be 
very great. Catholic influence from this quarter can be felt 



182 THE HIDDEN MIGHT OF CATHOLIC DIPLOMACY 

in this manner throughout the upper social framework, as 
Catholics, in proportion to their numbers, are in considerable 
strength in the various social and political gradations. For 
instance, in 1950 there were about 130 Catholic peers and 
baronets, including 33 Catholic members of the House 
of Lord, 21 Catholic M.P.s, 3 Catholic Ministers, 3 and, an 
important means of exerting Catholic influence in high 
quarters, 12 Catholic members of the Privy Council. All these 
were further strengthened by about 140 Catholic knights, many 
in important positions. 

But where the Vatican is at its strongest is in the British 
Foreign Office, a veritable citadel of Vatican diplomacy. In 
1936, by an actual count of policy-making officials, Catholics 
formed forty-one per cent of the whole Foreign Office per¬ 
manent staff, which increased by twenty-two per cent after the 
Second World War. 

The influence which the Catholic Church can exercise in the 
political life of the country via the Foreign Office has always 
been of paramount importance. It can profoundly affect the 
direction of British foreign policy on European and world 
issues. Before the Second World War it was the main instru¬ 
ment for destroying the Spanish Republic. This was accom¬ 
plished mainly through the hypocritical and fraudulent policy 
of non-intervention, which stopped Mexico, France, and Russia 
from sending more than token supplies, while Fascist Italy 
could openly send more than 100,000 troops and Nazi Ger¬ 
many bomber squadrons and even submarines and battleships 
to the rebels. The British Foreign Office’s policy of non-inter¬ 
vention, as a means of destroying the Spanish Republic, which 
the Pope had cursed and which Catholic generals were fighting, 
was inspired directly by the Catholic Church. From the very 
beginning, in fact, the Foreign Office had as its main con¬ 
sultant Mgr. Jackman, who acted on Vatican directives, and 
who greatly influenced the Catholic forty-one per cent of 
the Foreign Office’s permanent staff. Result: English Catho¬ 
lics were able to write British foreign policy, which became 
almost immediately also American policy towards Spain, which 
finally resulted in the installation of Fascist Franco. 4 

After the Second World War Catholic influence increased a 
hundredfold. That this is no exaggeration can be gathered 



THE HIDDEN MIGHT OF CATHOLIC DIPLOMACY 183 

from the fact that the two most important key posts of British 
diplomacy in relation to the paramount problems of the post' 
War era—namely Soviet Russia and Communism—were filled 
by two most zealous Catholics, Sir David Kelly, the British 
Ambassador to Moscow (1950-1), and Sir Ivone Kirkpatrick, 
British High Commissioner for Germany. 

After Soviet Russia, Germany was the most important 
problem of post-War Europe. There, in 1949> Vatican 
diplomacy succeeded in installing a Catholic Chancellor, Dr. 
Adenauer. This in spite of the fact that the resurrected 
Catholic Party was not the largest West German Party and 
that Catholics throughout Germany were only about thirty- 
three per cent of the whole German population, the greater 
bulk being Protestants. This remarkable diplomatic feat was 
accomplished with the full support of the American State 
Department and of the British Foreign Office, so that it could 
rightly be said, as an American Senator put it, that the first 
West German Government was conceived in Rome and born 
in Washington. 

The installation of a fanatical Catholic as the first Chancellor 
of West Germany contributed in a great degree to the reorienta¬ 
tion of post-War Germany in a direction which was the main 
cause of the split in Germany and in the Western World. As 
the tension between Soviet Russia and the West grew, so West 
Germany’s importance grew with it. One of the key positions 
at this period was that held by the three Western Powers still 
in occupation of Germany. Their High Commissioners had 
the decisive voice in practically all matters concerning the life 
of the country. Whoever held that position, consequently, 
shaped the internal political affairs of the part of Germany 
occupied by the country he represented. 

At the most critical period of tension between the other 
occupying power, Soviet Russia, and the Western nations. Sir 
Ivone Kirkpatrick, Permanent Under-Secretary to the British 
Foreign Office, was appointed High Commissioner for Western 
Germany. It might have been a coincidence, but soon after 
wards portents occurred. Nazi war criminals, duly tried 
and condemned by an International Court or by German 
Courts, began to be released with feverish frequency, and, to 
the incredulity and alarm of the majority in Europe and the 



184 THE HIDDEN MIGHT OF CATHOLIC DIPLOMACY 

Americas, the German jails were soon almost emptied of their 
Nazi war criminals. The result of this policy was a swift 
re-emergence of Nazism, followed by the astounding news that 
one of the new neo-Nazi movements—the Socialist Reich 
Party, led by former Nazi General Remer, the man who gave 
Hitler another year of life by ruthlessly suppressing the July 
plot in 1944 — during the elections held in May, 1951, sent 
sixteen Nazi Deputies to the State Assembly of Lower Saxony, 
the fourth strongest party in that State. This, only six years 
after the total collapse of Hitler’s Nazi Germany. 

Vatican influence, exerted indirectly, can similarly be felt 
further—e.g. in the various countries of the British Common¬ 
wealth, where there exist large and small Catholic minority 
groups. These have been known to be more prone to the 
combined suggestions of the British Foreign Office and the 
Vatican than, perhaps, to those emanating from any other 
quarters, including their own governments. Several Premiers 
of these countries have been or are Catholics (e.g. Canada, 
Australia, New Zealand), or have influential parliamentary 
Catholic pressure groups of their own (e.g. Australia). 

The “ unofficial ” influence exercised by the Vatican, there¬ 
fore, is important not only in England but also in most of the 
countries of the British Commonwealth, where there are more 
than 22,000,000 Catholics. It is felt in the international field, 
in connexion with issues affecting world problems, through the 
invisible yet concrete influential British Catholic minority, 
determined to further the interests of the Vatican by using the 
authority, experience, prestige, and influence of the British 
Foreign Office and other instruments of British policy-making 
at home and abroad. 

In the U.S.A. political Catholicism, broadly speaking, is 
made to work on the model of the British, with some out¬ 
standing differences. Whereas British Catholicism is extremely 
cautious, secretive, and almost unrecognizable as a distinctive, 
peculiar political force, the American is vocal, dynamic, 
aggressive, although superficially, but not in reality, haphazard, 
incoherent, and disorganized. Whereas the British as a rule 
act via the conventional diplomatic channels, identifying 
national and Catholic interests in such a way that it is almost 
impossible to detect any “ foreign ” (i.e. Vatican) influence, the 



THE HIDDEN MIGHT OF CATHOLIC DIPLOMACY 1 85 

American acts mostly via pressure-group methods. This has 
developed into the chief characteristic of American political 
Catholicism, peculiarly in keeping with the American political 
habitat, where public opinion, particularly if tackled on the 
emotional side, can be made to bear tremendous pressure upon 
local sheriffs or Presidents alike. 

Catholic pressure groups, beginning with the Catholic vote, 
are political factors which no political candidate, big or small, 
can afford to ignore. The two major American political 
parties, before launching upon any major national or inter¬ 
national policy, are always very careful to gauge first the 
reaction of the Catholic voter. Presidential elections are not 
exempt from this Catholic political sword of Damocles. A 
united Catholic bloc growing towards 30,000,000, whether for 
or against, can be decisive in the election of a new American 
President. Once elected, with or without Catholic support, a 
President is no safer than he was before. For the Catholic 
hierarchy can influence his political conduct with continuous 
blackmail via a perennial threat of withholding the Catholic 
vote or of using it at the next Congressional or Presidential 
elections. This continuous blackmail is more responsible for 
the domestic and particularly for the foreign policy of the 
U.S.A. than is generally realized. 

The political pressure made to bear upon the President is 
fully shared by Senators and Congressmen, also the targets of 
political Catholicism, in inverse ratio to their importance. 

Besides this, personal influence is no mean factor in adding 
to the pressure of American political Catholicism, when it is 
considered that Catholics have been and are being appointed 
with alarmingly increasing celerity to the highest positions of 
the land, both in the administration and in the armed services. 
E.g. General A. M. Gruenther, Chief of Staff of the Supreme 
Headquarters of the Allied Powers in Europe (February, 1951); 
Mr. Howard McGrath, the U.S. Attorney-General; Mr. Robert 
Hannegan, U.S. Postmaster-General; Maurice Tobin, 
America’s Labour Minister, who advised the U.S. workers 
“ to make it a £ must ’ to read the Popes’ social encyclicals ” 
(November, 1949, Detroit); Mr. Francis Matthews, Secretary 
of the U.S. Navy and Privy Chamberlain to the Pope, who advo¬ 
cated a “ preventive ” third World War, as we shall see later. 5 



l86 THE HIDDEN MIGHT OF CATHOLIC DIPLOMACY 

The pressure of Catholicism, consequently, is dispropor¬ 
tionate, not only in the political life of the U.S.A., but also in 
its profound repercussions abroad. The case of Franco s Spain 
is a typical instance. 

In 1946 the U.S.A., with other nations, decided to withdraw 
its ambassador from Madrid and bar Fascist Spain from the 
United Nations. This in order to boycott a dictatorship based 
on the model of the defeated Nazi and Fascist ones, and as a 
sanction against Spain’s collaboration with these during the 
Second World War. The Vatican promptly fought the ban, 
and mobilized political Catholicism to have it withdrawn. 
Catholicism in the U.S.A., like everywhere else, set to work. 
Gradually but steadily Catholic agitation, closely co-operating 
with powerful financial groups, began to make itself felt. 
And, by degrees, the American attitude started to change. By 
January, 1950, the Secretary of State, Dean Acheson, had 
already said that the withdrawal of the ambassador to Spain 
had been a mistake. President Truman not long afterwards 
said that it would be a long, long time before the U.S.A. sent 
another ambassador to Spain. But on December 27, 1950, it 
was announced that an American ambassador had been 
appointed to Madrid. 

That was not all. Franco had to have money as well. 
Catholic lobbying, set to work. Agitation in the U.S. Congress 
to give Franco $100,000,000 was at first rejected. Then Con¬ 
gressmen began to change when Catholic pressure groups in 
their States started to threaten them. A compromise was 
reached; Franco was given $62,500,000. President Truman at 
first impounded the money, but then he too changed his mind 
and granted the gift. The Catholic pressure had been so 
blatant that Senator Morse had to admit that “Yes, most 
powerful lobbying ” had engineered the Spanish loan, 6 while 
an influential organ, at this startling development, commented 
editorially that “ Generalissimo Franco ” had “ quite scores of 
unofficial Press agents in this country.” 7 President Truman 
himself could not bear the pressure of the Catholic “ powerful 
lobby and this to such an extent that in the early part of 
1950, irritated by the increasing Catholic persistence, while 
gr umb ling to a Senator about Catholics enforcing their political 
beliefs, “ Yes,” he said, “ in recent weeks the State Department 



THE HIDDEN MIGHT OF CATHOLIC DIPLOMACY 187 

has been shifting towards the Catholic view on Spain/ 5 because 
“ recognition of Spain is at present one of the main political 
aims of Catholics. 55 8 These political aims in 1952-53 resulted 
in a Spanish-American military alliance, with the granting of 
additional millions of dollars, plus American war materials, to 
the “ Christian Gentleman 55 of Spain. 

Catholic mobilization, it should be noted, was promoted 
simultaneously also outside the U.S.A., to strengthen the 
American Catholics 5 pressure upon the U.S. Government. This 
was achieved by the mobilization of the Latin-American 
countries, which sponsored the withdrawal of the ban. Euro¬ 
pean Catholics had not stood idle. A former British Ambas¬ 
sador to Spain (in 1939-40) advocated the reinstatement of 
Fascist Spain, because the “ English Catholics saw in Franco 
a saviour of Christendom. 55 Belgium, which had a Protestant 
majority in Parliament when, in 1946, it proposed the U.N. 
resolution to withdraw ambassadors from Spain, had a Catholic 
majority when it voted in favour of Spain in 1950. In France, 
Holland, and even Switzerland Catholics agitated to have 
super-Catholic Spain as a senior partner in the anti-Communist 
crusade sponsored by the Vatican and the U.S.A. 

Political Catholicism, therefore, should not be taken lightly. 
It is a force which is playing a major role in the political life 
of the West. Whether in the form of well-organized belligerent 
parties, or working disguised, as in England, or through 
pressure groups, as in the U.S.A., it is a most powerful instru¬ 
ment in the hands of the Church. It is even mightier when 
manipulated, as in fact it is, by Vatican diplomacy. 

Political Catholicism is the pet creature of Catholic 
diplomatic slyness. Consequently it is not only treacherous, 
but extremely perilous, a concrete danger to all those liberties 
which it professes to uphold, but against which, in reality, it is 
battling, with a view to their final destruction. 



11 

CATHOLIC POWER OVER WORLD 
ORGANIZATIONS 

T he vast ecclesiastical machinery 
of the Catholic Church, and her 
political lay battalions, would 
alone be sufficient to put Vatican diplomats in a unique 
position vis-a-vis the representatives of any other political 
Power, in so far as their use of the Church’s religious and 
lay organizations enables them to exert a disproportionate 
influence upon, not only the government to which they are 
accredited, but also a large section of its population. Indeed, 
there are times when such influence can be exerted upon a 
whole nation by the simultaneous use of the diplomatic, 
political, and religious machinery which their ambiguous status 
puts entirely at their disposal. 

Owing to this, Vatican envoys, more than diplomats, are 
potential disturbers of the peace, whom the State should watch 
with peculiar attention as the most insidious underminers of 
the liberties of the people. 

Were their exceptional power confined within the borders of 
nations or even groups of nations, that would still be enough 
to put them into a special category. But their influence 
violates all national confines. This, thanks to the fact that, 
being the diplomatic counterpart of a religious unit whose field 

188 



CATHOLIC POWER OVER WORLD ORGANIZATIONS 189 

is literally the globe, their influence is potentially world-wide. 
And it is world-wide, not so much because Vatican envoys are 
scattered all over the globe, but because they can exert direct 
diplomatic pressure upon groups or organizations dealing 
specifically with world problems. 

It may be argued that this is not unique to the Vatican. 
Russia and the U.S.A. can do the same, by making a roll-call 
of either ideologically or economically subservient international 
organizations or, indeed, nations. 

But the intangible lever of spiritual allegiance is far more 
powerful than the ideological or economic levers of Soviet 
Russia and the U.S.A. put together, cutting, as it does, across 
ideological, economic, and national ties: a feat very seldom 
accomplished with success by these last two Powers. 

This the Vatican can do by using, in addition to the vast 
religious machinery of the Church and the political groups of 
European Catholicism, countless religious, semi-religious, and 
lay international organizations with world-wide activities, 
inspired and promoted by Catholic principles and practice. 
Thanks to this, the field of Catholic activities is of a truly 
universal character, and thus, being wholly independent of 
geographical, racial, and political confines, Catholic interven¬ 
tion is felt in the most diverse spheres and in the most distant 
regions. 

A striking illustration is given by a well-planned calendar, 
indicating, in addition to the vast panoramic vista of Catholic 
exertions, specific Catholic efforts covering one year. The year 
happens to be 1952. But, with due variations, it could as well 
be 1953, 1954, or i960: 

January: Relief of the Korean people from spiritual 
and material distress. 

February: Unimpeded development of Catholic schools 
in India and Pakistan. 

Preservation of the Faith in Latin America. 
Spread of the Catholic Press in mission 
countries. 

Defence of the family in Japan. 

Defence against the peril of atheistic 
materialism in the Middle and Near East. 


March: 
April: 

May: 

June: 



190 


CATHOLIC POWER OVER WORLD ORGANIZATIONS 


July: Lay Apostles in Indonesia. 

August: Fidelity of the Chinese to the Church. 

September: Avoidance of the danger of ungodliness in 
organizations for education and health. 

October: The Pontifical Society of St. Peter Apostle 
for the native clergy. 

November: Christian solution of the social problem in 
South Africa. 

December: The Apostolate among natives of Asia and 
Africa who are studying or working in 
America and in Europe. 

These religious and semi-religious activities are supple¬ 
mented by parallel ones in the lay fields, mostly carried out 
by Catholic international and sometimes world-wide active 
organizations which, by strengthening Catholic influence in 
different fields, indirectly strengthen the Vatican s hand in 
social and political matters, in both regional and world 
assemblies. 

Various Catholic international units, with specific tasks, 
operate in all spheres. They can range from that dealing with 
the problem of an international language to those dealing with 
sacred music or engineering. International congresses are 
regularly held in various parts of the world, but predominantly 
in Rome: e.g. the International Congress of Catholic 
Esperantists, the Apostleship of Prayer, with 25,000,000 mem¬ 
bers, the International Congress of the Missionary Union of 
the Clergy, the International Congress of Catholic Artists, the 
International Congress of Catholic Nurses, the International 
Congress of Sacred Music, the International Congress of 
Catholic Engineers. These have no obvious political 
significance. 

Others, however, are more of a social, political, or 
ideological character. For instance, the world-wide Federa¬ 
tion of Catholic Universities, linking together all the Catholic 
Universities of the world, from that in Washington to that in 
Peking, from that in Tokyo to that in Milan; the Pax Romana, 
an organization linking together Catholic students from fifty 
countries, including India, Ceylon, China, the Philippines, and 
Japan; the International Union of Catholic Women’s Leagues, 



CATHOLIC POWER OVER WORLD ORGANIZATIONS I9I 

representing 86,000,000 members in all parts of the globe, 
which tries to influence Parliaments not only upon moral and 
social issues, such as birth control, divorce and Catholic schools, 
but also upon specific political questions—e.g. official con¬ 
demnation of Socialist principles, or of the Stockholm “ peace 
appeal ” in 1950; and the Union of Catholic Mothers, which 
also on many occasions promoted campaigns against collecting 
signatures for peace appeals, like the “ appeal for peace to the 
women of the world, 55 launched by the Women’s International 
Democratic Federation (1951 and 1952). 

Others are meant to influence media of propaganda, like the 
International Catholic Office of the Cinema, or put pressure 
upon social problems of many countries simultaneously, like 
the World Congress of the Apostolate of the Laity, or to deal 
widi political matters on an international scale, like St. Joan’s 
International Social and Political Alliance, or the International 
Congress of Social Studies, or the International Catholic 
Emigration Commission. 

These can seriously influence fields not direcdy connected 
with them, including non-Catholic ones, thus exerting world¬ 
wide power over Catholics and non-Catholics alike—e.g. the 
council of the World Medical Association, comprising over 
fifty nations, with a membership of 500,000 physicians, which, 
as already mentioned, under Catholic pressure adopted a 
resolution condemning euthanasia, in conformity with the 
doctrines of the Catholic Church. 1 

The labour problem has been receiving increasing Catholic 
attention, with the result that the Catholic Church has entered 
the field full tilt. Besides the countless Catholic activities 
wholly or partially devoted to it, special Catholic international 
organizations have been set up—for example, the Young 
Christian Workers, which from Belgium has spread to over 
fifty countries, covering, besides Europe, the U.S.A., South 
America, and Africa; or the International Federation of 
Catholic Transport Guilds; the Belgian Federation of Christian 
Unions, with organized branches in the Belgian Congo. 

Catholic penetration into organized labour, in the national 
and international spheres, is rapidly becoming a major 
influence. In the U.S.A. Catholic infiltration has been so 
successful that the most powerful Unions—e.g. the CJ.O.— 



I92 CATHOLIC POWER OVER WORLD ORGANIZATIONS 

are dominated by Catholics or have Catholics at their head. 

Catholic trade unions have been established in most coun¬ 
tries, sometimes with a membership running into millions, 
rivalling Communist- and Socialist-dominated unions, and 
succeeding, besides splitting the labour field in Europe, in 
splitting it also throughout the world by the creation of a 
World Federation of Catholic Trade Unions. 

These are directly controlled by the local hierarchy, and 
hence by the Vatican. In the Dutch and Belgian Catholic 
Unions, for instance, a priest attends all meetings of council 
and committees as an adviser. Since 1945 there has grown up 
an association of Catholic trade unionists built up from the 
parishes, and also craft-groups in the various unions which 
have played an active part in national and international events, 
particularly in the eradication of Communist influence. In 
Great Britain there exists the Association of Catholic Trade 
Unionists. There is a comparable organization in the U.S.A. 

Political Catholicism, although not wholly responsible, was 
nevertheless a powerful indirect influence in setting up a new 
world federation of non-Communist trade union organizations, 
the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions, with 
an aggregate membership of 50,000,000. 

The aims of the Catholic trade unions are the same as those 
of the diocesan associations: to encourage Catholic workers to 
join the trade unions, to take an interest in union affairs, to 
hold office in unions when fully trained, and to defend 
Catholic principles when they are attacked in trade unions. 

Catholic activities in the labour field are not confined there. 
Cognate bodies spread Catholic influence in the domestic and 
foreign sphere—e.g. the International American Catholic Con¬ 
gress for Social Studies, which first put forward the original 
idea for the establishment of a Confederation of Workers 
wholly inspired by Catholic social doctrines—e.g. the institu¬ 
tion of a feast of “ Christ the Workman,” to honour Christ as 
a model for manual workers; the creation of an International 
Christian Information Bureau, to unite European Right-Wing 
parties in their fight against Communism; 2 the launching 
of the Crusade for a Catholic Europe (first established in 

J 945)- , . . , 

All these international exertions, a characteristic feature of 



CATHOLIC POWER OVER WORLD ORGANIZATIONS I93 

the Vatican in the period following the Second World War, 
within a few years dealt with so many international and world¬ 
wide problems that it became necessary to create a Catholic 
“ International of Internationals,” centred in Rome, where the 
Presidents of the Affiliated International Organizations meet 
yearly to co-ordinate their activities on a world-wide scale. 


The sum of all the activities of so many world-wide 
organizations, although unable per se to influence political 
international assemblies, can nonetheless, by strengthening the 
hand of the Church in so many branches of human endeavour, 
strengthen that of the Vatican in its efforts to exert diplomatic 
pressure upon international politics. 

When to these are added organized political Catholicism, 
the religious convictions of Catholic politicians, and the 
spiritual injunctions exerted upon them by their Church, then 
we are faced with a political phenomenon of great import: the 
Vatican, which, although not represented at great international 
assemblies, can make its presence felt more forcibly than most 
of the official members. 

For example, at the first European Parliament of the 
Council of Europe, established at Strasbourg after the Second 
World War. There the Vatican, in addition to trying openly 
to influence the representatives of various European nations 
and to oppose others, inspired plans directed at uniting the 
heavy industries of Europe for a most belligerent purpose, as 
we shall presently see. On more than one occasion, Mgr. Jean 
Julien Weber, Bishop of Strasbourg, celebrated High Mass for 
the success of the Council of Europe, at which he invited all 
the Ministers and Assembly Delegates to kneel side by side in 
the Cathedral. Asked the reason for such behaviour, the 
Bishop had no hesitation in declaring that: “ I am doing what 
I can to point out their responsibilities to the numerous 
Catholic politicians.” On being reminded that in that way 
he was trying to influence the European Parliament to become 
Catholic-inspired, the Bishop’s reply was significant: “I 
intend to go on doing so.” 3 The Bishop, it should be remem¬ 
bered, had previously been instructed to “ cultivate ” the 
Delegates of the European Parliament by the Pope himself. 



1^4 CATHOLIC POWER OVER WORLD ORGANIZATIONS 

The Vatican can openly oppose the election of certain dele¬ 
gates to the European Parliament on the ground that they 
pursue a policy contrary to that of the Church. E.g. Catholic 
opposition to M. Spaak, former Belgian Premier, at the open¬ 
ing of the European Assembly in Strasburg (August 7, 1950), 
when he was proposed for re-election as the Assembly’s Presi¬ 
dent. The proposal was vehemently attacked by Catholic 
representatives of numerous countries. Dutch Catholics, by 
arrangement with the pro-Leopold Catholic Flemish repre¬ 
sentatives, took the lead, followed by Catholics of other 
nations, prominent among them the representative from Eire. 
Catholic opposition was due to the fact that, a few weeks 
before, Spaak had been most active in forcing the abdication 
of the devout Catholic King Leopold, who had almost risked 
civil war in order to reoccupy the throne, against the will of 
the majority of the Belgian people. King Leopold was sup¬ 
ported by the Vatican. The Dutch had been briefed by the 
Vatican to oppose Spaak; but, notwithstanding this, he was 
re-elected President by ninety votes to twenty-three. 

The Vatican can inspire such assemblies with plans directly 
connected with the promotion of wars. This, through 
prominent Catholic politicians. In 195°? M. Schuman, the 
French Foreign Minister, put forward to the Council of 
Europe proposals for a coal and steel merger of France, 
Germany, and other countries. The Schuman Plan, as it was 
called, had for its immediate aim the merging of all the 
industrial potential of Europe to increase the production of 
heavy industries. Heavy industries can benefit peaceful enter¬ 
prise; they can also be armament industries. The real purpose 
of the merger was, not to increase the production of civilian 
goods, but to promote a colossal speed-up of war weapons to 
oppose Communist “ Imperialism.” This coal and, steel 
merger plan, with its “much wider implications,” was 
Catholic inspired. In the words of M. Schuman himself, it 
represented “the flowering of the intense social movement 
which was the work of European Catholics.” 4 

As a first direct result, the Americans—who, _ like the 
Vatican, had supported the merger—released from imprison¬ 
ment as a war criminal Alfred Krupp, the German former 
ar ms king, reduced sentences on nine Nazi Generals and 



CATHOLIC POWER OVER WORLD ORGANIZATIONS 


I 95 

eight diplomats, and reprieved twenty-one war criminals 
(January 30, 1951). 

The Vatican, therefore, although “ officially ” not repre¬ 
sented at the Council of Europe, exercised an influence as 
powerful as that of any major Power, simply via Catholic 
delegates who, although the representatives of numerous 
nations, yet were the members of the same and only true 
Church, whose plans it was their duty to further. 

The Vatican, consequently, must be reckoned as a great 
European political Power. As such, it should never be under¬ 
estimated, lest its undetected influence undermine, with undue 
slyness, the exertions of the European family of nations, striv¬ 
ing to reach a working formula for long-sought European 
unity. 


But the Vatican, besides being a great European Power, is 
something more. For, in addition to influencing councils 
dealing with the fate of a continent, it can sway assemblies 
responsible for shaping the destiny of the entire world—e.g. 
the League of Nations after the First World War, when the 
Secretary-General of the League was a devout Catholic; 5 and 
the United Nations Organization after the Second. 

As with the Council of Europe, so also with these, the 
Vatican “officially” was represented neither diplomatically 
nor politically. Yet, rare indeed were the occasions when its 
influence was not powerfully felt, or when it could not com¬ 
mand the votes of whole groups of nations, as was so 
frequently done by the U.S.A. and, to a lesser degree, by 
Soviet Russia. The Vatican, with not a single official delegate, 
was one of the leading members of U.N.O., the “ invisible ” 
member, whose vote could stultify, at will, issues promoted by 
any nation. 

The Vatican, as the “ invisible ” member of U.N.O., made 
its influence felt mainly in three ways: 

(i) by delegates who were Catholics, 

(ii) by using the votes of Catholic countries, 

(iii) by an intimate alliance with the dominating power 
in U.N.O.—i.e. the U.S.A. 



196 CATHOLIC POWER OVER WORLD ORGANIZATIONS 

Delegates of Catholic countries were mostly Catholics, often 
zealous ones. These were supplemented by individual 
Catholics who, although not representing any member nation, 
yet could powerfully influence important problems—e.g. the 
Chief of the United Nations’ Status of Women Commission; 6 
by members of the Catholic hierarchy sent as official advisers 
to a national delegation at U.N.O.—e.g. Bishop O’Brien, 
Auxiliary to Cardinal Gilroy, Archbishop of Sydney, as official 
adviser to the Australian delegation to the U.N. General 
Assembly (September, 1950); and by individuals representing 
non-Christian countries—e.g. Moslem Pakistan sent Mr. 
Charles Lobo, former Chief Justice of Sind (1950); Buddhist 
South Korea sent its Foreign Minister, a most fervent Catholic; 
Hindu India sent the Rev. Jerome D’Souza, a Jesuit, who, 
besides being an Indian delegate to U.N.O., was a member of 
the Parliament of India. 

Thanks to its “ invisible ” membership, the Vatican could 
mobilize the votes of many countries. E.g. after the Second 
World War, most European nations being in the hands of 
Catholic Parties, their delegates could easily be briefed from 
Rome on all issues, while the Latin-American bloc formed 
a permanent unit servile to the Vatican, and was, perhaps, even 
more important than the European one, as the Latin-American 
countries could command forty per cent of all U.N.O. votes, 
although representing only seven per cent of the world popu¬ 
lation. This in contrast to Russia and India, with only two 
votes, and China, with no vote at all, although these three 
represented 1,000,000,000 human beings, almost half of 
mankind! 

Owing to such a disparity of forces, it is easy to imagine 
how the mobilization of the Catholic bloc could carry the day 
at a mere wish of the Vatican. 

Last, but not least, the “ invisible ” member could 
strengthen even further its Catholic bloc by co-ordinating it, 
or aligning it, with the dominating power in U.N.O.—i.e. the 
U.S.A. 

By the skilful use of such forces the Vatican can sometimes 
exert a political power in world affairs which is superior even 
to that of the U.S.A. and Soviet Russia, with their respective 
ideological and economic satellites, put together. 



CATHOLIC POWER OVER WORLD ORGANIZATIONS 197 

We have already seen how the Catholic pressure groups in 
the U.S.A. forced the American Government radically to alter 
its attitude towards Franco. Catholic pressure, while at work 
in the U.S.A., had been mobilized also within U.N.O. Per¬ 
haps it will help if we recapitulate the case. Immediately after 
the end of the Second World War Spain was practically the 
only fortress of Fascism to remain intact. As the chief Nazis 
were hanged, so Catholic Spain was branded a Fascist nation. 
After this the General Assembly of U.N.O., in their decision 
of 1946, urged all the member-nations to withdraw their 
ambassadors and ministers from Madrid, to bar technical 
activities from Spain, to forbid financial aid, and similar 
sanctions, as a concrete proof of the world’s abhorrence of a 
regime patterned on those of Hitler and Mussolini. At this 
period the temper of the nations, just emerged from the bloody 
Fascist war, could not be too lightly defied. And so the 
Vatican, although expressing disapproval of the U.N.O. 
decision, kept ominously quiet. Its silence, however, was only 
superficial. For it immediately began countless discreet exer¬ 
tions, which came increasingly to the fore as the world was 
being mobilized for the third World War. 

These activities yielded their first concrete results when 
finally, in the spring of 1949, a proposal inspired direcdy by 
the Vatican was put forward to U.N.O., to secure the annul¬ 
ment of the General Assembly’s decision of 1946. The 
proposal failed by only two votes to obtain the two-thirds 
majority. 

The Vatican changed tactics. Instead of putting direct 
pressure upon U.N.O., it switched this against the power 
do mina ting U.N.O., i.e. the U.S.A., which, it should be noted, 
was in 1946 one of the prime movers against Franco’s regime. 
The American hierarchy, the Catholic Press, and the whole 
Catholic-American machinery were duly mobilized. And in 
no time, as we have already seen, the State Department had to 
change its mind. 

Having made certain of the support of the U.S.A., the 
Vatican thereupon resumed its direct frontal attack. The 
Latin-American countries—with the exception of Uruguay, 
Guatemala, and Mexico, who voted against it—were again 
briefed to bring the vexed question of relations with Spain 



1^8 CATHOLIC POWER OVER WORLD ORGANIZATIONS 

before the United Nations, which they did in October, 1950- 
The result was soon evident. The prosposal gained a con¬ 
clusive majority, thirty-seven votes to ten, with twelve absten¬ 
tions. The special committee of U.N.O. revoked the ban on 
diplomatic relations with Spain and the prohibition against her 
membership. Financial loans from the U.S.A. preceded and 
followed this move. The Vatican, which had worked by 
words and deeds for Franco’s cause, had won another victory. 


While promoting the recognition or the admission of any 
given State into the comity of nations, the Vatican can equally 
help to brand another, and, indeed, help to exclude it, China 
being a striking case in point. 

Since its inception in 1949 Communist China was stubbornly 
boycotted by the U.S.A., who refused to recognize it as the 
legitimate Chinese Government. American hostility did not 
r emain theoretical; it was concrete. It continued to support, 
finance, and arm Chiang Kai Shek, entrenched in Formosa; to 
oppose Red China becoming a member of the United 
Nations. In this it was entirely supported by the Vatican, 
which on more than one occasion openly stated that all 
countries should oppose “ the admission of Red China to the 
U.N.,” 7 condemning those who, like Britain, had recognized 
Red China, labelling such recognition “ a mockery,” 7 going 
so far that, after the outbreak of the Korean War (June, 1950), 
American armies, notwithstanding repeated warnings from 
the hitherto neutral China, rushed towards the Manchurian 
frontiers, with an unheard-of disregard for the national 
susceptibilties of Peking. The equivalent of this provocative 
action would have been if Chinese Red Armies had landed 
in Mexico, had defeated a Mexican rebel army sponsored by 
the U.S.A., and had then rushed towards the U.S. frontier, 
proclaiming at the same time that their object was to destroy 
American Capitalism. 

China acted as the U.S.A. or any other country would have 
done in such a case: it crossed the border and threw the 
Amer ican armies back almost to the sea. This was self- 
defence, justified also by the fact that twice in the recent past 
had Korea been used as a doorway for the invasion of China. 



CATHOLIC POWER OVER WORLD ORGANIZATIONS 199 

At this turn of events the U.S.A. had the impertinence to 
propose to the U.N. that they brand Red China as an 
“ aggressor,” mobilize all their diplomatic, economic, and 
military forces, and, indeed, declare war against China. 

The U.S.A.’s proposal shocked the world to such an extent 
that not a single nation of the sixty comprising the United 
Nations came forward to support the American motion. All 
subsequent American efforts, in spite of the tremendous 
pressure it exerted upon the usually docile U.N.O., failed. 
Again not a single country would sponsor America. 

At this point, what neither the power of the U.S.A. nor the 
hatred and fear of Communism could do, the Vatican did. 
The Latin-American countries were briefed by the Vatican to 
side with the U.S.A. and to support the American motion for 
economic and military measures against Red China. And 
within a few days the U.S.A.’s resolution was unanimously 
endorsed by the Central and South American States (January 20, 
1951). The ultimate result was that, not long afterwards, the 
combined Catholic-American pressure brought into line most 
of the European governments. 

The importance of the Vatican’s support for the American 
plan can be gauged by the striking fact that, whenever the 
U.S.A.’s economic pressure was not strengthened by the 
invisible religious pressure of the Vatican, there American 
efforts failed miserably. It is significant that this occurred 
mostly with non-Christian countries. 

The case of China, besides bringing to the fore the power 
which the Vatican could command within the United Nations, 
brought also to the fore a no-less-sinister fact: the ruthless 
blackmailing technique used by the U.S.A. to force members 
of a World Assembly to vote according to the American 
decision. This occurred in connexion with India. 

Immediately prior to and almost at the same time as the 
Chinese issue, India had made an urgent request to the U.S.A. 
for 2,000,000 tons of wheat. As the spectre of famine had 
appeared in various Indian provinces, prompt decision on 
purely humanitarian grounds would have meant the avoidance 
of thousands dying of starvation. The gravity of the crisis can 
be judged by the fact that the famine was threatening to 
become “ the worst famine in Indian history.” The issue of 



200 CATHOLIC POWER OVER WORLD ORGANIZATIONS 

branding Red China had, meanwhile, come to the fore in 
U.N.O. India not only proved to be against the American 
resolution, but became the leader of the Asian-Arab nations 
opposing it, on the ground that it would needlessly antag¬ 
onize most of the Asiatic peoples. 

It was important for die U.S.A. to “ persuade ” the leading 
Asian-Arab nations to bow to its will, the Latin-American bloc 
being not quite sufficient to obtain a majority vote. In view 
of the Indian refusal to acquiesce, the American economic 
“ pressure principle ”—the equivalent of the Vatican s 
“ religious ” one—was set in motion, and the American Senate 
Foreign Relations Committee took an ominous step. It decided 
to delay action on India’s urgent request for wheat until Indian 
opposition to the American policy on Communist China had 
ceased. 8 

This, duly publicized, was timed, not only for when various 
European and Asiatic countries had begun to waver in their 
resolve to stand firm against the U.S.A., but also, and this 
should be noted, after alarming reports of the famine in India 
had just been released throughout the world. Two days later 
(January 30, 1951) the American State Department, to make 
matters worse, gave wide publicity to a statement to the effect 
that there was “ no doubt ” that India urgently needed food 
gr ain “ to avert a most devastating famine.” 9 

The official and unofficial spate of publicity was a means 
calculated to put further pressure upon India by influencing 
the Indian Government via Indian and world public opinion 
and thus compel it to support the American policy in order to 
remove the obstacle to the swift granting of 2,000,000 tons of 
wheat, to prevent the death of numberless innocent people. 

American ruthlessness was so blatant that influential organs, 
such as the New Yor\ Herald Tribune, did not hesitate openly 
to condemn it. America should not “ mix up human misery 
with domestic or international politics,” that paper said, “ by 
withholding food from the famine-stricken masses of India 
because it disagrees with the foreign policy of the Indian 
Government. ... Yet the Department picked the moment 
when the Indian-American disagreement over China was the 
hottest to approach Congress. . . . Let us not defame our¬ 
selves and let people die of hunger because their government 



CATHOLIC POWER OVER WORLD ORGANIZATIONS 


201 


did not vote as our government would like that government to 
vote.” 10 

American blackmailing pressure continued for several 
months, until it was suddenly modified. Mr. Nehru, the 
Indian Premier, one day told Parliament (May io, 1951) that 
Russian ships carrying wheat were on their way to India. Two 
weeks after this announcement (May 24, 1951) the U.S. House 
of Representatives voted to grant a loan to India to buy 
2,000,000 tons of grain. 

The economic pressure exerted upon India by the U.S.A. 
on the one hand, and the religious pressure of the Vatican 
upon the Latin-American bloc on the other, are, admittedly, 
extreme cases. Yet they are typical of the combined American- 
Catholic “ pressure ” upon a World Assembly—combined 
pressure which is by no means rare. 

Vatican influence in the promotion of American foreign 
policy and in the swaying of major decisions of the United 
Nations is very often decisive. Without it numerous Western 
nations would not be forced to bend to U.S. economic pressure 
sufficiently to satisfy the U.S. leaders. In the case of China it 
was a success. Various European nations, most of them with 
Catholic governments, in addition to the South American bloc, 
turned the tables in America’s favour, and the United Nations 
Assembly, only two weeks after it had refused to adopt the 
American motion, passed it, in accordance with the will of the 
U.S.A., by indicting China as an aggressor by a final vote of 
forty-four to seven, wtih nine abstentions. The supporters 
were almost all Christian nations, some of which were either 
wholly Catholic or had powerful Catholic pressure groups in 
their midst. Those who voted against, or abstained, were 
either non-Christian or, if Christian, were Communist, where 


Vatican pressure was nil. 

The intervention of the Vatican had once more decisively 
influenced a major move of a world assembly where even the 
economic pressure of the U.S.A. had failed. 

Another no less ominous success was that connected with 


American espionage activities. After the American Govern¬ 
ment had passed its notorious American Mutual Security Act, 
1951, by which American Intelligence was granted another 
$100,000,000 for espionage and sabotage activities inside Com- 



202 CATHOLIC POWER OVER WORLD ORGANIZATIONS 

munist countries—as seen in an earlier chapter—the Act was 
brought before U.N.O., where members were asked to con¬ 
demn it as “ an aggressive act and interference in the internal 
affairs of other States.” 11 

Many U.N.O. members, since the Act’s inception, had 
expressed their disapproval, some of them protesting that it 
was“ an aggressive act ” directed “ for the invasion of another 
State and the overthrow of its Government.” 12 

The United Nations Assembly for some time was decidedly 
against the American motion for the approval of the Act. 
The routine pressure of reducing dollar-aid to sundry member- 
nations, while lining up some, had no effect on others. Vatican 
“ briefing ” was set in motion, with the inevitable result.. On 
December 21, 1951, the automatic American-Vatican majority 
had its way by thirty-nine votes to five, and eleven 
abstentions. 13 

That Vatican influence in U.N.O. could at times be even 
more powerful than that of the U.S.A. was proved on more 
than one occasion. There are on record cases when the 
Vatican defeated, single-handed, not only a strong opposition 
within U.N.O., but the whole of U.N.O., supported by the 
U.S.A. itself. 

One of such cases occurred in 1948—9, in connexion with the 
then extremely thorny issue of the status of the Holy Land, 
and particularly of Jerusalem. The Vatican wanted inter¬ 
nationalization of Jerusalem and the surrounding territory. 
Numerous countries—and, for a change, also the U.S.A., very 
sensitive about its 5,500,000 Jews—opposed such a plan. The 
Vatican briefed its American “ Grey Eminence,” Cardinal 
Spellman, “ to contact all ” Catholic members of U.N.O. In 
no time, the Catholic votes were mobilized en bloc for the 
next session. 11 In December, 1949, when the issue was 
debated, to the astonishment of many the U.S.A. and the 
others who had opposed the Vatican’s plan were defeated. 

Israel did not, however, submit to the decision, with the 
result that the issue continued to be an open sore in Israel- 
U.N.O.-Vatican relations for many years. 

The advice of an official organ of the Church, in connexion 
with the mobilization of Catholic votes within U.N.O., is 
illuminating: 



CATHOLIC POWER OVER WORLD ORGANIZATIONS 203 

It is necessary to bring pressure to bear on the representatives in the 
United Nations of the Catholic nations, so that they form a granite-like 
block in the defence of the Internationalization of Jerusalem, as approved 
by the U.N. in December, 1949. 15 

The victory on the issue of Jerusalem was a minor one. 
But the Vatican had once more demonstrated that, whenever 
the opportunity arises, by mobilizing vast spiritual forces at its 
disposal it can become a most redoubtable power, capable of 
defeating enemies and friends alike, and is, therefore, an 
“ invisible ” member of U.N.O., to be wooed and supported, 
lest its power be directed against anyone not befriending it. 


The Vatican, however, acts not only as a kind of super-lobby 
in the World Parliament, solely to promote its political activi¬ 
ties. It has invaded another sphere, not so much in the lime¬ 
light but one which, perhaps, in the long run is no less im¬ 
portant, the United Nations’ cultural facet, U.N.E.S.C.O. 

Here the Vatican’s exertions were directed at “ orientating ” 
a world-wide body whose decisions could affect the culture of 
many nations and hence of millions of Catholic, non-Catholic, 
and even non-Christian peoples. 

The Catholic Church not only set up organizations “ to 
orientate all this international activity,” to “ watch influences 
fin Unesco] which are not strictly Christian,” and “ to study 
the declaration and documents of these post-war bodies and 
call attention to both about what is good and what is bad in 
them from the Catholic point of view,” but it continually urged 
Catholics to penetrate into such organizations in order to 
influence them in accordance with Catholic teaching. “We 
must learn how to penetrate these U.N. agencies, to exercise 
influence on their decisions, which are binding upon the 
affiliated nations. We must assert our rights.” 16 

Following such dicta, Catholic pressure is directed at raising 
obstacles against any plans not approved by the Catholic 
Church: such as, for instance, that of giving European chil¬ 
dren fair, unbiased history books. This occurred after Unesco 
had announced “ plans for a booklet designed to help writers 
of improved history text-books ” underlining “ Unesco’s 
philosophy of education for international understanding ” 



CATHOLIC POWER OVER WORLD ORGANIZATIONS 


204 

(October, 1950). The scheme contemplated the exchange of 
books between “ experts ” of neighbouring countries, for the 
purpose of reciprocal criticism. This system was not new. It 
had already been in use among five Nordic countries, includ¬ 
ing Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, since 1937- these 
lands no history text-book was published without prior 
examination and criticism by the “ experts ” of the other four 
countries. Unesco’s idea was to extend this scheme to the 
whole of Europe. Paramount opposition came from the 
Catholic delegates, who objected, on the grounds that history 
must be taught only according to the Catholic Church and not 
by an “ impartial body ” which might show the Church in a 
bad light. 17 

Catholic ostracism of the issue of unbiased books by 
impartial international bodies or writers is not confined to 
history books dealing with a Christian continent such as 
Europe. The Catholic Church attempts to dictate how history 
should be written for the Buddhists, the Hindus, the Moslems 
—indeed, the whole of the human race. 

Is a history of the world being planned, with a view to 
having it translated into fifty or sixty languages, so as to reach 
all peoples, everywhere ? Such a history then, must be written 
according to the Catholic historical interpretation—read, 
Catholic distortion of world events. 

In 1952 the United Nations’ Educational Scientific and 
Cultural Organization appointed Dr. Ralph E. Turner, chair¬ 
man of an editorial committee, to produce a 3,000,000 words 
History of Mankind, which, it was expected, would be “ the 
most influential history ever produced.” A sum of $600,000 
was allocated for the work, to be published in 1957- 

As soon as the appointment was announced, the Catholic 
Church was mobilized, from the representatives in U.N.O. of 
the U.S.A. to those of the tiniest Latin-American republic. 
Their task: to oppose the nomination of Turner, “ the 
Atheist,” and of his team of nine members, “ none of whom 
is known as a Catholic and none of whom is from a Catholic 
institution.” 

The American N.C.W.C. began a campaign in the U.S.A., 
and the American hierarchy and Catholic lay organizations, 
including the scapular-bemedalled Knights of Columbus, set in 



CATHOLIC POWER OVER WORLD ORGANIZATIONS 205 

motion their pressure-group machinery to force the U.S. 
Government or the American delegates to U.N.O. to exert 
their influence to have the team of “ Atheists ” dismissed. 

The Vatican protested. Catholic Action in sundry lands 
used all kinds of political and social chicanery to have the 
production of the history stopped—or at least modified accord¬ 
ing to the dicta of the Catholic Church. The campaign, which 
began in 1952, gathered momentum from then onwards. 

The Vatican’s efforts can be directed at “ orientating ” 
education proper. By trying to influence a body like Unesco 
to adopt certain formulas in harmony with Catholicism it 
might one day solve the Church-versus-State problem of educa¬ 
tion in numerous countries at one single stroke. The 
Vatican has, already made several remarkable attempts in that 
direction. E.g. during the Fifth Session of the General Con¬ 
ference of the United Nations’ Educational, Scientific, and 
Cultural Organization, Unesco, 18 in which fifty-six nations 
took part, when Catholics tried to “ orientate ” the Congress 
“ in regard to education, science, and culture,” and bitterly 
criticized its education programme because it advocated 
Separation of Church and State—namely, the State’s educa¬ 
tional neutrality in connexion with religion. Catholic penetra¬ 
tion went so far that, by 1950, the Vatican was bold enough to 
send an “ official observer,” no less a person that the Papal 
Nuncio to Italy, assisted by a team of six ecclesiastical and lay 
experts, this Vatican delegation being supported by such 
powerful additional Catholic voices as that of the head of the 
U.S.A. delegation, Mr. Howland Sargeant, and of the Director 
of the Educational Department of the National Catholic 
Welfare Conference, Mgr. Frederick Hochwalt. 

The disproportionate Catholic strength at such assemblies 
can be gauged by the fact that, although nations from all over 
the world came to the Conference, one out of three was 
Catholic. This is even more striking when it is remembered 
that, whereas Catholics number 400,000,000 the world popula¬ 
tion is more than 2,400,000,000 (1952). 

The Catholic Church can affect policies concerned with the 
population of the globe. To a body like U.N.O., this is a 
problem of immense consequence. Its handling requires 
global planning. That means that peoples of diverse religions 



206 CATHOLIC POWER OVER WORLD ORGANIZATIONS 

and political background must agree on some fundamental 
principle by which to develop a scheme to check, reduce, or 
stabilize an otherwise uncontrollable increase. One of the 
schemes urged by the United Nations was, as we have already 
seen, the propagation of birth control as a short-cut solution to 
food and population problems, particularly in the Far East. 
Among concrete recommendations put forward was one 
favouring a network of birth control clinics in India, Pakistan, 
and China. 19 Catholic delegates, as always, attacked the 
scheme, sabotaged the idea, and proposed that the Catholic 
doctrine condemning birth control should replace the plan for 
reducing world population, thus blatantly attempting to 
impose the Church’s religious doctrine upon a global scheme 
affecting non-Catholic and even non-Christian peoples. 

The Vatican can use national and international organiza¬ 
tions in order to mobilize world public opinion against its 
enemies: e.g. during the trials of Archbishop Stepinac in 
Yugoslavia and Cardinal Mindszenty in Hungary, when both 
prelates were found guilty of conspiring to overthrow their 
respective governments. The Vatican organized a world cam¬ 
paign, picturing them as innocent victims of Red terror, via 
the pulpit, the Press, radio, films, with the result that in no 
time individuals and governments alike became genuinely 
convinced that the Catholic Church was being persecuted, 
sim ply as a religion. This went so far that the Vatican used 
U.N.O. as a world platform, charged Hungary with having 
violated human rights by imprisoning one of its cardinals. 
This while simultaneously Franco was executing Communists 
in Spain for having taken part in the Civil War a whole decade 
earlier. 20 

U.N.O. in view of the absurdity of the Vatican charge, 
proposed to withdraw this motion. Uruguay opposed the 
withdrawal (September, 1950), and Catholic pressure was 
redoubled. Thanks to Catholic mobilization, the motion was 
not only retained on the agenda but in October, 1950, by a 
vote of thirty to fifteen, it was given priority on the agenda of 
a Special Political Committee. At the same time, the Catholic 
lobby in Washington was made to work on the State Depart¬ 
ment, and not long afterwards the U.S.A. Secretary of State 
came forward with a formal request to reopen the case in the 



CATHOLIC POWER OVER WORLD ORGANIZATIONS 20J 

United Nations. In the following month (November) the 
Assembly adopted a resolution denouncing Russia’s Balkan 
satellites, Rumania, Bulgaria, and Hungary, “ for violation of 
human rights.” The resolution was introduced by Australia 
and adopted in the General Assembly by a vote of forty for 
and five against, with twelve abstentions. The success of the 
Vatican’s pressure can be judged by the fact that it succeeded 
in mobilizing not only Catholics throughout the world, but 
also the Protestant Churches and, indeed, democratic and even 
Socialist governments. This mobilized world opinion to such 
a pitch that it led to the decision to seek an opinion on the 
proceedings of the trials from the International Court of 
Justice. 

The trial of Cardinal Mindszenty was the first time in four 
hundred years that a secular court had thus arraigned a mem¬ 
ber of the College of Cardinals, but it was also the first time 
that the Catholic Church, through the Vatican, had mobilized 
practically the whole world in her favour, playing the role of 
a persecuted religion, when in reality she had conspired as a 
political Power to overthrow the legal governments of inde¬ 
pendent sovereign nations. 

The representative of the Vatican is the representative of a 
power operating the immense machinery just described. 
Owing to this, he cannot be compared with the ordinary diplo¬ 
matic representatives which countries accredit to each other. 
For he is the envoy of a world Power, claiming to be above the 
country to which he has been attached. 

The appointment of a nuncio, therefore, does not represent 
a regular exchange of diplomatic representatives between two 
sovereign States, the nuncio being the official agent of a Power 
claiming partial or complete sovereignty within and outside 
the country to which he has been accredited, with the ability 
to mobilize part of the nation and even the whole nation 
against the government itself. And this owing chiefly to one 
simple fact: that he is the political envoy of a State within a 
State, obeying a super-State, the Vatican. 


H 



12 

NATURE AND EXERTIONS OF 
VATICAN DIPLOMACY 


T HE VATICAN, THEREFORE, HAS AT 

its disposal a machine without 
equal; of immense efficiency, flexi¬ 
bility, power of penetration, and scope; to be operated on a 
local or on a global scale, at any time or in any place, to bolster 
up, to exert pressure upon, to undermine, or to wage war so 
as to further the interests of the Church. 

Its representatives can use its tremendous power, either 
wholly or partially, simultaneously or independently, according 
to whether the task involved is a local or international one, 
while the Secretary of State can employ it, not only when 
dealing with supra-national issues, but frequently to strengthen 
the hand of a particular nuncio, to intimidate a stubborn 
government, or otherwise to make the weight of Catholic 
diplomacy felt, wherever necessary. 

Although officially enjoying only diplomatic status, the 
nuncios de facto enjoy also religious and political standing. 
For, in addition to representing a diplomatic Power, they 
represent also a religious and political authority, identified in 
the same individual—the Pope. And, as his representatives, 
they become diplomatic, religious, and political leaders, to 
whom the hierarchies and the religious, semi-religious, and lay 

208 



NATURE AND EXERTIONS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY 20 9 

organizations of the countries to which they have been posted 
owe blind obedience. 

Whenever it is useful for them to do so they do not hesitate 
to add to their weight, by employing freely such vast sources 
of religious and political power, either to strengthen their diplo¬ 
matic pressure or, indirectly, to force the hands of governments 
when diplomatic methods alone are insufficient. 

Thus, although the government to which he is accredited 
sees in a Papal Nuncio only a diplomat, that same diplomat is 
also a political and religious representative, sent for the express 
purpose of intervening in the religious and political affairs of 
that government. A Papal representative, therefore, owing to 
his triple nature, status, and task—i.e. diplomatic, religious, 
and political—has a status all his own. Consequently, when 
exchanging diplomats with the Vatican, a nation must act 
accordingly, as the rules of normal diplomacy here are not only 
at fault, but useless. This is so, because the nuncio, when 
acting in his triple capacity, has the power to operate religious, 
social, and political forces which, although integral parts of 
the country to which he has been attached, yet once mobilized 
can be made to act wholly independently of their own govern¬ 
ment. In such cases the nuncio’s orders are usually faithfully 
carried out; although individual Catholics—or movements— 
might at times rebel, they are expelled from Catholic organiza¬ 
tions and sometimes from the Church herself. This happened 
to Bishop Mgr. C. Duarte Costa, a Brazilian bishop, excom¬ 
municated in 1945 for his exposure of the Hispanidad move¬ 
ment in the Brazilian See and in other American countries, 
Hispanidad being the Falange of Fascist Franco, transplanted 
in Latin America. And to the Italian Catholics who started a 
movement called the Catholic-Socialist and were excommuni¬ 
cated in 1946. And to two Polish priests, members of the 
Warsaw Parliament, who, in 1947, were suspended for refusing 
to withdraw from the Communist-directed government. And 
to the super-Catholic Action Francaise, whose leaders were 
excommunicated in 1927 for having scorned, first, the political 
directives of the Papal representative, and then even those of 
Pius XI. When dealing with a Papal Nuncio, a State conse¬ 
quently must be extremely careful not to antagonize the power 
he represents, which, being simultaneously of a religious and 



210 


NATURE AND EXERTIONS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY 


of a political nature, can be made to operate from the top to the 
bottom of the structure of a whole nation. 

For should antagonism arise, the nuncio would come to the 
fore, not as a diplomat, but as the leader of powerful forces 
which, although within the country, yet are closely arraigned 
behind him; should that occur, the government would be 
attacked from the pulpits of cathedrals and parish churches, by 
the Catholic Press, Catholic trade unions, the Catholic Party, 
and Catholic organizations of all kinds, down to Catholic 
individuals. Catholic Deputies would vote against it in the 
Chamber, journalists would write hostile articles, financiers 
would withhold money, the hierarchy would tell the faithful 
not to pay taxes, would incite them to civil disobedience, 
would organize passive and often active armed resistance— 
indeed, when necessary, even civil war. In short, all the com¬ 
plicated and immense web of Catholic machinery would be 
brought into action to exert pressure against individuals, 
authorities, the government, or the State which incurred the 
hostility of the nuncio—or to be more precise, of the Vatican, 
represented by the nuncio. 

Technically speaking, the Papal representatives are divided 
into three main classes, all of them ecclesiastics. Born Legates 
(Legati Nati); Sent Legates ( Legati Missi), or Legates “ from 
the side ” (a latere) of the Pope; and Resident Legates. 

A Legatus Natus holds an ecclesiastical dignity to which the 
power of a legate has been attached. In the Middle Ages they 
were extremely important personages who presided at synods, 
acted as judges of appeal, and whose decisions could be reversed 
only by the Pope. 

The Legati Nati were gradually superseded by the special 
Legates {a latere) who for the last three or four centuries have 
been the main representatives of the Vatican, accredited to the 
various governments of the world. A Legatus a latere is sent 
by the Vatican for special purposes, and as soon as his business 
is done he returns to Rome. 

Legates with stable governments belong to the class of 
Resident Legates. Of this category, those who represent the 
Vatican with the most important Powers are known as nuncios, 
while those residing with second-class governments or in 
peculiar religious-political circumstances are known as inter- 



NATURE AND EXERTIONS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY 211 

nuncios or apostolic delegates. A cardinal, when serving as a 
nuncio, is known as a pro-nuncio. 

As a rule a nuncio is accredited to Catholic countries. For 
Protestant and non-Christian lands, the Vatican selects its 
representatives according to the peculiar political or religious 
status of each country. This sometimes creates difficulties. 
One of them is a result of the Vatican’s ancient claim, as already 
mentioned, that as it is above all secular governments its repre¬ 
sentatives must enjoy a privileged diplomatic status, and hence 
its nuncios must be officially recognized as the deans of the 
diplomatic corps, in the capitals at which they are accredited. 
This is accepted as a normal procedure in Catholic countries, 
but is rejected in Protestant and non-Christian ones. Whether 
nuncios, inter-nuncios, delegates, or local hierarchs, once 
oriefed by the Vatican to act as its diplomatic representatives, 
they all act as the agents of both a political power, the Vatican, 
and of a religious institution, the Catholic Church—a combina¬ 
tion which, by making them far more powerful than the 
diplomatic representatives of a secular State, enables them to 
influence the life of any given country to a degree which, 
besides being harmful, can be very dangerous for the liberties 
of a truly independent nation. 


The countries to which a nuncio may be sent, roughly 
speaking, can be placed in four main categories: friendly 
countries; neutral countries ready to come only half way; 
countries unable officially to make any agreement with the 
Church, but whose governments want to keep in close touch 
with her; and, lastly, countries which refuse to have anything 
to do with the Vatican. 

When the nuncio is faced with a friendly country whose 
government promises to work hand-in-hand with the Church, 
a treaty is signed. This, as we have already seen, is called a 
concordat. 

In the case of a neutral, or even hostile, country, to avoid 
alienating her Catholic citizens, or of one where the separation 
of Church and State is strictly observed, a compromise is 
usually reached, and a modus vivendi is agreed upon. Occa¬ 
sionally, such a country cannot sign a concordat or even officially 



212 NATURE AND E X ERTIONS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY 

reach a modus vivendi, when another compromise is found. 
The government sends to the Vatican a special envoy or per¬ 
sonal representative, who has no official mandate, but usually 
does the work of an ambassador, while the Vatican’s repre¬ 
sentative is either an apostolic delegate or (and this is more 
usual) a high national dignitary of the Catholic Church. This 
is what occurred with England, where there exists a national 
Church whose head is the King, and where there can therefore 
be no official permanent diplomatic interchange with the Pope. 
Notwithstanding this, England has officially recognized the 
Vatican since 1929, on the lame excuse that, as the Vatican is 
an independent State, it is legal for the English Queen to be 
represented at the Papal Court by a minister plenipotentiary. 
The Vatican, however, was not then permitted to appoint the 
equivalent in Great Britain. And this, strangely but signifi¬ 
cantly, was also due to the fact that the Vatican feared Pro¬ 
testant England would not accord the honour of deanship of 
the diplomatic corps to the Pope’s representative. Later, 
however, in 1938, the Vatican avoided the issue by appointing 
an apostolic delegate—a way out which it has employed not 
only with Protestant but also with non-Christian countries, e.g. 
Turkey. 

When confronted with a country hostile to Catholicism, and 
determined not to receive or to send to the Vatican any special 
representative, the nuncio, or Papal delegate, must content 
himself, once his mission has failed, with appointing a high 
prelate of that country as his deputy. This deputy is instructed 
to contact the Vatican should important matters arise or should 
there be a change of heart in the government concerned. 

In addition to these four principal diplomatic situations there 
are naturally many intermediate ones. 

As regards the type of government that is hostile to the 
Catholic Church, it usually refuses to exchange official repre¬ 
sentatives, declares its right to deal with religious matters 
within its boundaries according to the laws of the country and 
without regard to the authority of the Catholic Church or her 
claims in social and political matters. 

Such an attitude, being fundamentally hostile to all that the 
Church thinks right, automatically causes a state of conflict 
between the civil and religious authorities, which at times may 



NATURE AND EXERTIONS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY 2 I 3 

assume alarming proportions and upset the life of a whole 
nation. Of the two belligerents, the State at first seems to be 
the victor; for, being in control of its own machinery of sup¬ 
pression, it is able to enforce its will, at least on the surface. 
In most cases, however, this turns out to be anything but a 
victory, owing to the tactics of the Catholic Church, which 
gives way to force only so that she may continue to fight under¬ 
ground. Whenever this happens Catholic forces are thoroughly 
mobilized, usually to such an extent that the very foundations 
of the government are seriously undermined, and sometimes 
even made to crumble. 

When a situation of this nature has been brought about, one 
or two kinds of war ensues: the war conducted by a laisser 
faire spirit or the war fought without asking for or giving any 
quarter. 

The first, although waged relentlessly by both Church and 
government, usually concludes with a tacit but uncontracted 
modus vivendi, by which each limits itself to go so far but no 
farther in fighting the other. For instance, the State would 
not compel laws passed against the Catholic Church or in dis¬ 
harmony with her to be literally enacted, but would close its 
eyes to infringement of such laws, showing tolerance, and if 
enforcing them doing so only for the sake of appearances. 
The Church, on the other hand, would not order her local 
hierarchy, the Catholic Party, the minority of influential 
Catholic politicians, or the mass of devoted faithful entirely 
to boycott the State, but would advise them to tolerate its 
laws. 

When this occurs, the Church and government, although in a 
chronic state of conflict, manage to get along without aggravat¬ 
ing the situation unduly, hoping that time and circumstances 
might improve their relationship. But if that is rendered 
impossible, either because very important rights of the Church 
have been infringed or because the State does not consider it 
worth while to reach an uncontracted modus vivendi , then the 
powerful diplomatic and religious machinery of the Church is 
set to work, with a view to forcing the government to wiser 
counsel or to bringing about its downfall. 

The pressure that Vatican diplomacy can exert upon indivi¬ 
duals, political parties, and domestic and international issues 



214 NATURE AND EXERTIONS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY 

in any given country—whether friendly, neutral, or hostile, 
Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, or non-Christian—is immensely 
varied. It can assume countless shapes, can use the most dis¬ 
parate instruments, take advantage of the most common or the 
most exceptional circumstances, events, or problems. Indeed 
it is so flexible that it can be said, without fear of exaggeration, 
that there is no issue that it cannot influence, directly or 
indirectly, in diplomatic or political matters throughout the 
world, with particular regard to the West. 


Issues apparently unconnected with religion or with the 
Catholic Church, after careful scrutiny, will frequently be 
found to have been affected by Vatican diplomacy. Questions 
seemingly of an essentially political or economic character are 
very often seriously influenced by the Vatican’s adverse or 
friendly pressure. Certain historical events, which have altered 
the course of contemporary society, or have even forced great 
nations to adopt policies nefarious to the good relationship of 
races or continents, when examined, not rarely were originally 
provoked by the Vatican. 

Vatican diplomacy, as the instrument of a hoary institution 
determined to conquer, will pursue policies spanning genera¬ 
tions, and even the centuries. It will unhesitatingly lay a web 
of religious, diplomatic, and political intrigue, which it will 
use year after year, decade after decade, persistently, relent¬ 
lessly, unscrupulously, regardless of set-backs, defeats, or the 
risk of marring the relationship of nations—indeed, unmindful 
even of provoking violent disorders, revolutions, or wars. 

It will pursue the simplest and most obvious policies or the 
slyest and most secretive methods, the subtlest and most unde¬ 
tectable tactics, the most ruthless devices, or seemingly unwork¬ 
able schemes. It will not hesitate to arrange for envoys to be 
secretly accredited to the Papal Court, by-passing the will of a 
nation; to wait half a century, to break the jealously kept 
tradition of a Protestant country; to oppose the entry into a war 
of another at one time, but to encourage the same country’s 
intervention into another conflict, provided it fits into the 
general strategy; to employ the diplomats of other nations as 
Vatican agents; to blackmail simultaneously two great world 



NATURE AND EXERTIONS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY 


2I 5 

Powers to exert increasing pressure upon the head of a great 
nation, so as to influence its foreign policy, and thus to inter¬ 
vene in the conduct of another world conflict. 

To circumvent the objections of any given country unwilling 
or hostile to the establishment of diplomatic relations, Vatican 
diplomacy will act in the slyest fashion—e.g. the establishment 
of diplomatic relations between the Vatican and England. 
Before the First World War the Vatican had pressed for the 
establishment of diplomatic relations with Great Britain. 
Political and religious opposition, particularly from the Church 
of England, however, became such a formidable obstacle that 
the scheme was momentarily shelved and half-forgotten. 

Came the First World War, and with it a golden opportunity 
for the Vatican to resume its attack. Influential Catholic 
elements at the British Foreign Office were briefed. The 
sending of an envoy would be “ provisional.” The Vatican 
would not expect the British Government to recognize the 
Papal Court as a religious authority, but only as a diplomatic 
listening-post. In this fashion, the British Crown, in which 
the Church of England rested, would in no way be com¬ 
promised. 

The Foreign Office put the case to the British Government 
in this light and pressed for the establishment of relations. 
Fearing that Protestant England would not take the matter 
lightly, the Government hesitated. Thereupon, those few who 
were advocating the Vatican course took matters into their 
own hands. Some time in 1914, the British Foreign Office 
secretly sent an envoy to the Vatican. This was done, it 
should be noted, without consulting Parliament, testing public 
opinion, or giving any inkling of the status, duration, or 
power of the British envoy; a most blatant violation of the 
British Constitution. 

As, however, the step taken could not be concealed for long, 
a declaration was issued, to the effect that the appointment 
was only for the duration of the war. This was a false state¬ 
ment, as subsequent facts proved. The disclosure came like a 
thunderbolt, and the shock caused by this diplomatic fait 
accompli was not confined to England. Canada, Australia, 
New Zealand, and South Africa made the most serious protests, 
considering the appointment a breach of the Act of Settlement. 



216 


NATURE AND EXERTIONS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY 


The appointment “ for the duration ” has remained ever since, 
and is now an accepted and established feature of the British 
Foreign Office. 

Parallel tactics were used with another Protestant country, 
the U.S.A., where the Separation of Church and State, being 
one of the fundamental bases of the Constitution, makes it 
legally impossible for the American Government and the 
Vatican to exchange regular “ official ” diplomatic repre¬ 
sentatives. 

In this case the appointment of an American ambassador to 
the Vatican was based on an “ illegal subterfuge ” which had 
created a “ precedent,” i.e. the necessity of the moment— 
namely, the outbreak of the Second World War. 

Contrary to general belief, the U.S.A. was represented at 
the Vatican by a consul for over seventy years after the 
establishment of the United States. It was not, however, a 
diplomatic assignment, the consul having been appointed on 
the ground that his work consisted in developing trade with 
the Papal States. 

A precedent having been created, the Vatican cautiously, but 
persistently, asked that a full legation be established. And in 
1848, despite considerable opposition, the American Govern¬ 
ment consented. Protestant opinion set to work, until finally 
the House stopped its appropriation. The legation was 
withdrawn in 1867. 

Relations with the Vatican were renewed by President 
Theodore Roosevelt, who sent William Howard Taft to Rome 
as his special representative to negotiate on problems arising 
from the American acquisition of the Philippine Islands. The 
pretext was that a political problem like that of the Philippines 
required a diplomatic instrument—i.e. an American diplomat, 
and Theodore Roosevelt by-passed the constitutional obstacles 
by sending W. H. Taft to Rome as his special repre¬ 
sentative. 

A few years before the outbreak of the Second World War 
the Vatican pressed once more for an exchange of diplomatic 
representatives. One of its first successes was attained in 1933, 
when the Vatican appointed an apostolic delegate in Washing¬ 
ton, whose position was non-diplomatic and whose work was 
officially confined to ecclesiastical matters. A few years later 



NATURE AND EXERTIONS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY 21J 

'the Vatican took a further step, and in 1936 sent Eugenio 
Pacelli to visit President Roosevelt. 

In 1939 President Roosevelt appointed Myron Taylor as his 
personal representative to the Pope. Precedent for the Taylor 
mission rested in the Taft assignment. The technical diffi¬ 
culty which stood in the way of such an appointment—that is 
to say, that the plan had to be submitted to Congress, which 
alone had the power to grant the necessary financial funds for 
the maintenance of a legation—was by-passed simply by not 
asking Congress for the necessary funds. Mr. Taylor, being a 
millionaire, paid his own expenses, and hence the question of 
asking Congress for an appropriation was avoided. The 
appointment, therefore, was made over the heads of Congress; 
in other words, over the heads of the people of the United 
States. 

Mr. Taylor held the rank of ambassador, but without any 
treaty-making or other powers normally held by ambassadors. 
In the Vatican’s official listing of diplomats the American 
President’s personal representative was at the bottom of the 
list of ambassadors, with a black line separating his name 
from the others. Yet no representative of a foreign power 
held so prominent a status at the Vatican as did Mr. Taylor 
while his post lasted. During his ten years’ assignment to the 
Vatican he made seven separate trips to the Holy See for 
President Roosevelt and six for President Truman. No envoy 
was more frequently received in private audience by the 
Pope. 

The U.S.A. had sent an “ unofficial envoy ” to the Vatican 
“ for the duration.” The Second World War ended in 1945, 
but the American envoy remained for almost another five years. 
It was only after growing representations by American public 
opinion that his mission ended in 1950. 

Not long afterwards, however, President Truman aston¬ 
ished America by unexpectedly announcing the appointment 
of a fully fledged American ambassador to the Vatican 
(October 21, 1951), thus openly violating the American 
Constitution. The appointment had to be cancelled. 

The precedent having been created, Vatican diplomacy had 
thus achieved its ultimate aim. 

The same tactics were used with other countries—e.g. 



2l8 


NATURE AND EXERTIONS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY 


France, which, like England, during the First World World, 
had sent an envoy to the Vatican “ for the duration.” Like his 
British colleague, the French representative has remained there 
ever since. 

In the U.S.A. Vatican diplomacy works mainly via non- 
diplomatic instruments to further its diplomatic interests, 
two of these non-diplomatic instruments being the National 
Catholic Welfare Conference and the de facto head of the 
American hierarchy, the Cardinal of New York. 

In 1919 a hundred American bishops set up the N.C.W.C., 
“ to unify, co-ordinate, and organize American Catholics in 
various groups of activities.” The Vatican, in the absence of 
normal diplomatic intercourse, has made ample use of the 
Conference to achieve objectives ranging from pressing the 
Federal Government on certain legislation, to making repre¬ 
sentations to the State Department on behalf of Catholic 
interests abroad—e.g. in Mexico—or of threatened missionaries 
in Red China, or in favour of a cardinal in some country 
behind the Iron Curtain, and of a thousand and one other 
issues, many of which we shall examine later. 

Since the Second World War the Cardinal of New York 
has become the official “ Grey Eminence ” of Vatican diplo¬ 
macy, with more than considerable influence both in Rome 
and in Washington. This is due, not only to the fact that the 
U.S.A. has become the leading country of the West, but also 
to that other seldom-mentioned one, that the Vatican, like 
most European States, has become increasingly dependent 
upon the money coming from the U.S.A. Money generally 
dictates policy. This is as true of the Vatican as it is of any 
other political body in the world. That the Vatican has 
always been highly sensitive to the inflow of gold was recog¬ 
nized long ago by enemies and friends alike. Spain, whose 
Catholicity has never been in doubt, went so far as to coin a 
saying in connexion with it: El diner0 es muy Catolico 
(“ Money is very Catholic ”). Vatican diplomacy has never 
disregarded the power bought and brought by money. Hence, 
the U.S.A. being the wealthiest country in the world, with 
more than half the world’s gold reserve in her vaults, it 
followed that the status of the American hierarchy increased 
proportionately to the increase in the financial might of the 



NATURE AND EXERTIONS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY 219 

American people. A characteristic, this, which played no 
mean role in an institution claiming to be concerned only with 
the problems of a future life. 

Vatican diplomacy can act very slyly to break a tradition, 
particularly a Protestant one. Its main tactics here consist of 
repeated, persistent attack upon whatever has yielded once, on 
the assumption that, if it yields a second or a third time, 
resistance is ultimately bound to be broken. Once embarked 
upon it, its efforts will continue unabated for years, decades, 
or longer. 

A King or a Queen of Britain is the supreme head of the 
Church of England. As such they cannot visit, recognize, or 
pay obeisance in any form to the Pope. That, in addition to 
being an established Protestant tradition, is also made legal 
by the Statute, Constitution, and Laws of both Church and 
State. These Laws have been jealously guarded for genera¬ 
tions, as symbolizing the complete independence of a Protestant 
country from the Papacy. The breaking of such a tradition, 
consequently, would imply that a Protestant country recog¬ 
nized the moral authority of the Papacy, and, indeed, even 
if tacitly, the religious supremacy of Catholicism over 
Protestantism. 

Employing the tactics of discreet religious-diplomatic 
intrigue via the Foreign Office, after years of secretive 
manoeuvring, the Vatican at long last succeeded in its first 
important step. In 1903 King Edward VII visited the Pope. 
This was a flagrant breach of the Act of Settlement. The 
British public and the Church of England were kept com¬ 
pletely in the dark about the whole affair, and news of the 
royal visit was released only after the event had taken place. 
To appease an incensed public opinion, both the Foreign 
Office and the Vatican hastened to say that the visit had no 
significance whatsoever, that it was a merely personal affair of 
the King, and that in any case it was regarded as an excep¬ 
tional event which would not be repeated. 

But the precedent had been created, and this helped not 
inconsiderably in preparing the way for posting the British 
envoy to the Vatican in subsequent years. 

The “exceptional event,” however, was repeated, and in 
1918 the Prince of Wales, the heir to the British throne, went 



220 NATURE AND EXERTIONS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY 

to the Vatican. This was followed by an even more important 
visit, that of the King and Queen of England themselves, in 
1923. As on the first occasion, great secrecy surrounded the 
whole affair, and the news of the royal breaking of the Statute 
of the land was released, again, after the event had taken 
place, and consequently when it was too late to do anything 
apart from protest. 

Following the Royal example, rarely at first but increasingly 
frequently with the passing of the years, high personages 
began to pay discreet visits to the Vatican, until a generation 
later delegations from the House of Lords paid public and 
official visits to the Pope. British Cabinet Ministers and, 
indeed, even Prime Ministers went to the Vatican to discuss 
political and religious problems with the head of Catholicism. 
This was not all. Members of the Royal Family were seen 
again in the Vatican halls. In 1949 Princess Margaret, attired 
in black, was officially received in audience by Pope Pius XII. 
By this time, the public had become accustomed enough to see 
important British individuals go to the Vatican, and hence 
the Royal visit went by wholly unchallenged, the furore of a 
few years before being totally absent. 

Two years later, on April 13, 1951, the heir to the British 
Throne and future Head of the Protestant Church of England, 
accompanied by her husband, was received in private audience 
by the Pope. The event needed no longer to be hushed up; 
previous to its taking place it was publicized far and wide 
throughout the world, and articles, pictures, and films were 
printed and shown everywhere. The Princess had half an 
hour with the Pope, who gave her an artistic image, and to 
her husband a large gold medal commemorating the first year 
of his Pontificate. They were then received by the Under¬ 
secretary of State for the Vatican and by other important 
ecclesiastical personages. This time the visit was accepted 
almost as a matter of course by all except the Free Church of 
Scotland, which dared to come out openly against it in the 
old manner: 

The tendency of the younger members of the Royal Family in recent 
days to go out of their way to visit the Vatican and do obeisance to the 
head of the Roman Catholic Hierarchy is occasioning much distress to 
many of His Majesty’s most loyal Protestant subjects [it said]. It is 



NATURE AND EXERTIONS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY 


221 


not only that the two Princesses have sought an audience with the Pope, 
but that they have done it with an ostentatious publicity that seemed 
determined to flout Protestant opinion in the nation. 

The adoption by the Princess of the habit, black dress and veil, 
incumbent on Roman Catholic women when having an audience with 
the Pope, added just that note of surrender to Roman Catholic conditions 
of acceptance that are so dear to the heart of the Roman Catholic Church 
and so humiliating to loyal Protestants. 

We know fully well that the official “ advisers ” to their Royal High¬ 
nesses must bear a great deal of the responsibility for all this, and we 
know that our Foreign Office is riddled with Roman Catholic sentiment 
and diplomacy. .. d 

General Protestant opinion, however, did not follow this 
line. Indeed, Protestant voices were heard defending the 
Royal visit to the Pope. A Presbyterian Church leader’s com¬ 
ment concerning the Scottish Church’s attack was simple: 
“ They were only doing in Rome as the Romans do.” That 
was not all. English Catholic hierarchies, referring to the 
isolated Protestant objection, took offence that Protestants 
should become concerned because the future Head of their 
Church had paid homage to the Pope, and loudly complained 
that Protestants were insulting Catholicism by daring to 
publicly utter these uncalled-for and insulting remarks (of the 
Free Church of Scotland). 2 The following year Princess 
Elizabeth became Queen of England (February, 1952). Vatican 
diplomacy had travelled far indeed since the first Royal visit 
in 1903. 

Vatican diplomacy will act seemingly contradictorily with¬ 
out blushing, disdainful of the morality of the issues at stake. 
Before the First World War Italy had signed a pact with 
Germany and Austria-Hungary by virtue of which she bound 
herself to enter on their side in case of hostilities. The Vatican, 
for reasons we shall discuss later, favoured Germany and 
Austria. When the war broke out Italy, after some hesitation, 
sided with the Allies—i.e. France and Britain. One of the 
main obstacles to such a decision was the Vatican, which exerted 
all its pressure to have Italy side with Germany. During the 
period of Italy’s neutrality this pressure was used to prevent 
her from entering into the war. After she had sided with the 
Allies, the Vatican promoted such a defeatist Catholic hostility 
that it mapaged to disrupt the civil and even the military 
morale of the country, and to such an extent that it became 



222 


NATURE AND EXERTIONS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY 


one of the main causes, even if an indirect one, of the 
greatest military defeat suffered by Italy, when the retreat of 
Capoxetto (1917) endangered the prospect of final victory for 
the Allies. 

One of the Vatican’s accusations against Italy at this period 
was that she had sided with the democracies, the begetters of 
a “ democratic godless civilization ” which “ had promised 
freedom and has made the nations slaves to oppressive 
militarism; had promised happiness and has brought slaughter 
among nations ” (Civilta Cattolica, May, 1915). 

When finally the tide turned and the Allies emerged vic¬ 
torious, the Vatican simply sided with them. 

During the Second World War, when Mussolini joined 
with Hitler, the Vatican, while officially neutral, gave its full 
support to the Fascist adventure by using the Catholic Church 
as a mighty propaganda machine, appealing to the Italian 
youth “ to carry out their duties with the loyalty proper to 
citizens and soldiers, and thus give proof of heroism in its 
task of assuring prosperity to this nation, the centre of 
Catholic Faith and of civilization ” 3 (Civilta Cattolica, July 15, 
1940). Incitement by the Catholic Church to fight against the 
Western Democracies was not confined to the Press. It was 
part and parcel of the Catholic hierarchy, who supported the 
Fascist war to the hilt. 

Once the Fascist armies began to retreat, however, the 
enthusiasm of the Catholic Church in Italy began to cool off, 
until it gradually rose again, towards the end of the war, no 
longer for the fallen Mussolini or the doomed Hitler, but for 
the victorious Allies, whose troops, on entering Rome, were 
received by the Pope, who blessed them in all solemnity as 
the liberators of the Catholic Church, so badly persecuted by 
the Fascist and Nazi tyrannies. 

Among the characteristics of the Vatican is not only its 
brazen opportunism, but its unscrupulous employment of 
diplomatic instruments and religion to serve its political 
schemes—for instance, by using a Catholic diplomat, repre¬ 
senting a foreign Power, accredited to a country which has 
cut off diplomatic relations with the Vatican. 

The case of Rumania is typical. In 1950 the R umanian 
Government discovered a vast espionage net in which various 



NATURE AND EXERTIONS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY 223 

foreign Powers were involved. One of these was the Vatican, 
which had worked hand-in-hand with the American and 
French Intelligence services. The Vatican’s co-operation had 
been given mostly by its unrivalled ecclesiastical organization, 
which had charged the Catholic clergy of the country with 
the task of collecting information of a political, economic, and 
even military nature within their parishes or dioceses. Such 
information, while per se not of intrinsic military value, 
became so once it was supplemented by that of the American 
and French Intelligences. 

The Rumanian Government, having collected irrefutable 
proof that the Vatican Nunciature in Bucharest had been 
engaged in such activities as already mentioned, closed the 
Nunciature 4 and expelled the Papal Nuncio—who, signifi¬ 
cantly enough, was an American, in close touch with the 
American State Department. 

The ejection of the Papal Nuncio from Rumania meant not 
only that the Vatican had no longer any direct diplomatic 
contact with that country, but also that all direct communica¬ 
tion with the Communist countries behind the Iron Curtain 
ceased, the Papal Nuncio in Bucharest being the last Papal 
envoy behind the Iron Curtain. It seemed as if Vatican 
diplomacy’s channels of information had been very badly 
blocked, indeed paralysed. 

But not for long. Ways and means by which to re-enter 
the country were soon found, and close co-operation with 
another capital soon yielded obvious results. 

The British Minister in Rumania was recalled and a new 
one appointed. The latter—and this was by no means a 
coincidence—was a devout Catholic. And, what is even more 
significant, he succeeded a predecessor who not only had been 
in the closest touch with the expelled Papal Nuncio, but who 
now was appointed British Minister to the Holy See. 

Catholics are in duty bound to further the interests of their 
Church. Catholic diplomats, therefore, must help Catholic 
diplomacy. A Catholic diplomat, filling an exceptional 
diplomatic post, from which the representative of his Church 
has been excluded, must act in his triple capacity as the repre¬ 
sentative of his government, as a Catholic, and as a Catholic 
diplomat, employed by a lay government, but conscience 



224 NATURE AND EXERTIONS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY 

bound to act also and simultaneously as an unofficial diplomat 
for the Catholic Church. 

Vatican diplomacy, expelled from the main entrance, had 
re-entered through the back door. 

This type of diplomatic “ camouflage ” is relatively common, 
and comparatively innocuous. Religion at the service of 
Vatican diplomacy, however, can be employed to play far 
more sinister roles—for instance, to co-operate in, or even to 
organize, proper espionage, sabotage, or guerilla warfare. We 
shall have ample opportunity to see how this is done. Suffice 
it here to state that it is not confined to the West. Vatican 
diplomacy can work hand-in-hand with non-Christian coun¬ 
tries or non-Christian regimes to further the secular interests 
upon whose success depends the furtherance of Catholic 
schemes. 

Thus, after China became Communist, the ousted Chiang 
Kai Shek found ready collaborators in Chinese and even 
Western Catholics in China, who, under cover of religious 
activities, acted as his agents. 

A typical case was that connected with the arrests in 
Tientsin, when nineteen persons were charged with espionage 
activities, carried out “ under the camouflage of the Catholic 
Church.” The arrested agents of the Chinese Intelligence 
Service were members of the “ Peiping-Tientsin underground 
column of the Catholic Youth Loyalty Corps” and of the 
“ Tientsin branch of the People’s National Construction 
Association.” 5 

These activities were an integral part of the grand design 
of Vatican diplomacy in the Far East, directed at sustaining 
any movement combating Communism. While serving 
Vatican diplomacy’s immediate wants, they did immense harm 
to Christianity, which was thus naturally identified with 
unpopular regimes. Chinese Catholics who saw this danger 
dared to defy the Vatican on political grounds and, supported 
by Chinese and Western Protestants, recommended “severe 
punishment ” for those “ abusing religion ” in this manner.® 
Catholic hierarchs entrenched in Formosa with Chiang Kai 
Shek protested at such audacity, declaring that the Reds had 
renewed their fury against religion. Proof? The Tientsin 
Catholic “ martyrs.” 



NATURE AND EXERTIONS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY 225 

This purposeful distortion of facts is part and parcel of 
Vatican diplomacy, and is far more important than is generally 
realized. Distortion, when done simultaneously with pressure 
upon public opinion, is used very frequently by Catholic 
diplomacy to influence paramount political problems. In¬ 
stances of this type of Catholic see-saw technique are countless. 
Suffice the following. 

Prior to the entry of the United States into the Second World 
War Vatican main concern was that European Fascism be not 
defeated. American aid to the Western democracies fighting 
Fascism could annul Fascist military superiority. Hence it 
became essential that such aid be withheld. What did Vatican 
diplomacy do to achieve this? It mobilized the American 
hierarchy. A tremendous campaign advocating Isolationism 
was initiated, or rather renewed, sponsored, promoted, and 
supported, by practically the entire American Catholic Church, 
which in no time surpassed all the most rabid Isolationists and 
indeed became one of their most powerful instruments. 

The campaign had three main objectives: a long-range one, 
to prevent the U.S.A. from entering the war on the side of 
die Allies; and two short-range ones, (a) to slow down 
American rearmament, and ( 'b) to prevent the Lend-Lease Act 
of assistance to England and other democracies from being put 
into effect. 

This campaign, initiated before the Second World War and 
intensified after its outbreak, reached its highest pitch when 
Soviet Russia was brought into the fight by Hider’s attack 
(June, 1941). Isolationism, led by the American hierarchy, 
was now given another propaganda gun to fire: It would be 
sheer folly to help European Democracies, it said, for by help¬ 
ing them America would help Soviet Russia. Therefore let 
Europe fight its own war. Meaning, let the Fascist dictator¬ 
ships win. “ Nations which call Russia a friend cannot say that 
they are fighting for the Kingdom of God,” declared at this 
stage Mgr. Sheen. Cardinal O’Connell put it more succinctiy: 
“ The war is not our affair,” he said; “let those who have 
started it, finish it.” Bishop Cassidy of Fall River put it even 
more bluntly: “ The best way to protect democracy is not by 
putting Hitier out of business,” he declared, “but ... by 
eradicating materialism here in this country.” 



226 


NATURE AND EXERTIONS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY 


But the most violent Catholic spokesman of all was 
undoubtedly Father Coughlin, the most outstanding exponent 
of American-Catholic Fascism. Father Coughlin was the 
“ unofficial ” spokesman of the Vatican at this period. He 
was one of the various instruments of the indirect exertions of 
Vatican diplomacy; the extreme Right Wing of American 
Catholicism, intimately identified with what was most 
reactionary in the country. He served the Vatican as a rabble- 
rouser, as a violent moulder of the most politically and 
emotionally unbalanced section of American public opinion, 
and hence as a dangerous element, capable of seriously embar¬ 
rassing the Administration. 

Father Coughlin was particularly useful to the Vatican, 
because he gave effective violent leadership, particularly to the 
Irish-American cross-sections which constitute a potent 
political force in some of the larger metropolitan areas. His 
speeches, radio broadcasts, and sundry subversive organizations 
such as the Christian Front became the most rabid exponents 
of the cause of extreme Isolationism. 

“ Like thieves who operate under the cover of night,” wrote 
Father Coughlin in his journal, Social Justice, in May, 1940, 

there are in our midst those who operate beneath the cloak of protected 
auspices to steal our liberty. The Committee to Defend America by 
Aiding the Allies is a high-sounding name, composed of high-handed 
gendemen who are leaving no stone unturned to throw everything 
precious to an American to the dogs of war . . . sneakingly, subversively 
and un-Americanly, hiding behind a sanctimonious stuffed shirt . . . 
these men form the most dangerous fifth column that ever set foot upon 
neutral soil. They are the Quislings of America, they are the Judas 
Iscariots within the apostolic college of our nation. They are the gold- 
protected, Government-protected snakes in the grass who dare not stand 
upright and speak like men face to face . 7 

Tbe Vatican’s is one of the most cynical diplomacies in the 
world. To achieve its objectives it will not even hesitate to 
march under the same banner as the enemies it wants to 
destroy. Thus, at one critical stage of this campaign—i.e. 
prior to the entry of Russia into the war—the extraordinary 
spectacle was seen of the mass of American Catholics marching 
together with the American Communists, who before Hitler’s 
attack upon Soviet Russia (1941) had formed one of the noisiest 



NATURE AND EXERTIONS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY 227 

Isolationist groups in America. Previous to that date, Ameri¬ 
can Isolationism, mightily strengthened by the Catholic 
Church, saw American Catholics arm-in-arm with Italian 
Fascists, German Nazis, Protestant ministers, Irish Catholics, 
disgruntled Democrats, rob-ribbed Republicans, Jesuits, and 
Communists, all determined to keep America out of the 
European imperialistic war. 

Not all Catholics, however, followed the official line of the 
American hierarchy. Isolated Catholic voices were heard to 
speak against this mighty surge of American and Catholic 
pro-Nazism. Bishop J. Hurley, of St. Augustine, Florida, was 
one of them. Summing up the tactics of American Catholic¬ 
ism at this critical period, the bishop, in fact, did not hesitate 
to declare: 

I deeply regret to say that many good Americans, amongst them 
Catholic publicists, are now following the Berlin party line . 8 

The Isolationists’ ranks were scattered by the bombshell of 
Hitler’s invasion of Russia. Whereas the American Com¬ 
munists became overnight ardent interventionists, the 
Catholics increased the ferociousness of their Isolationist 
efforts. Hitler had to be helped at all costs in his efforts to 
destroy the chief enemy of the Catholic Church. This could 
be done by keeping America out of the war. Had they held 
on for a while, he would have annihilated Soviet Russia within 
a few months became their main argument. Pope Pius XII 
was certain of this. Not owing to any supernatural disclosure, 
but mostly to official information coming simultaneously from 
Berlin, Washington, and London. Hider’s Foreign Minister, 
Ribbentrop, was sure that “ the Russia of Stalin will be erased 
from the map within eight weeks.” 9 

The British military and political leaders, with the sublime 
smugness of extinct dodos, pontificated that Ribbentrop was 
wrong. “ Russia would collapse within a month,” they said. 
Some, the most pessimistic—supported by the American State 
Department—prophesied that Hider could be unlucky. “ He 
mi ght give the coup de grace to the Soviet monster, not within 
one, but within a possible maximum of three months,” they 
declared. 10 

The Vatican’s dream, the destruction of Soviet Russia, at 



228 NATURE AND EXERTIONS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY 

last was in sight. Twenty years of strenuous effort to achieve 
this must not be nullified at this stage by the intervention of 
America, or by American help to Russia. The American 
hierarchy received precise orders to bring the Isolationist 
campaign to heat stage. This was soon intensified to such an 
extent that President Roosevelt himself was no longer able to 
stand its devastating propaganda. 

The Vatican policy had begun to seriously endanger his 
policy of helping the European Democracies. Roosevelt did 
not, it should be noted, try to come to terms with the leaders 
of the American Catholic hierarchy, knowing these to be 
nothing but the political dummies of the Vatican. He decided 
to take drastic steps, and at the very source of the inspiration 
of such vicious pressure sent his personal representative to see 
the Pope. The task of the President’s envoy: to persuade 
Pius XII that it was in the interests of the U.S.A. to help the 
European Democracies, and hence Soviet Russia, lest the whole 
of the European continent became an impregnable Fascist 
fortress. Catholic pressure against the Administration, there¬ 
fore, had to stop, as it was making it increasingly difficult for 
the American Government to implement its policy. 

The Pope, who had vast long-range designs in connexion 
with the Catholic Church within the U.S.A., in the Western 
Hemisphere, and within both in relation to the world at large, 
could not wholly disregard Roosevelt’s request. On the other 
hand he could not permit America to help Soviet Russia via 
help to the Democracies, and even less to let her dispatch war 
material. The latter consideration prevailed, and the Pope 
replied to the President with a resounding No. The negative 
answer, however, had to be couched in such a way as to trans¬ 
form it into a positive factor, useful to the Vatican, the Ameri¬ 
can Catholics, and all those religious and lay forces opposed 
to giving help to Russia. 

How was such a political contortion to be made? It was 
accomplished in the Vatican’s classical fashion. The whole 
issue, from the essentially political field, was shifted to the 
slippery one of religion, where Roosevelt’s whole plea was 
nullified. The Catholic Church could not remain neutral or, 
even worse, help a country which did not allow complete 
religious freedom was the Vatican’s reply. In Soviet Russia 



NATURE AND EXERTIONS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY 229 

religion was persecuted; hence the Catholic Church could not 
order American Catholics to stop their campaign against the 
Administration engaged in helping the Russian enemies of 
God. 

Thanks to such reply, Vatican diplomacy had not only 
evaded Roosevelt’s request, it had used its negative reply to 
put the President politically “ on the spot,” to justify its 
conduct against him, and even to make further allies in the 
non-Catholic ranks opposed, like Catholicism, to aid to Russia. 

The impudence of this move could not have been more 
blatant, for only a few years before the Pope had had to write 
no less than two encyclicals, one against Mussolini and the 
other against Hitler, complaining that they persecuted the 
Catholic Church. 11 This, however, was not all. At the same 
period when Pius XII was replying in this manner to Roose¬ 
velt, Protestant chapels in Franco’s Catholic Spain were being 
attacked, looted, and burnt, while Protestant Bibles were 
wantonly destroyed, over 100,000 copies in one single blow. 13 

President Roosevelt, although aware that the Papal answer 
was only an excuse to justify the Catholic pro-Hitler campaign, 
nonetheless took the Pope at his word, and sent an American 
mission to Moscow, headed by Averell Harriman, who was 
instructed to take up the question of religious freedom in 
Russia with the Soviet Government. 13 

The Soviet replied simply by quoting Article 24 of the 
Soviet Constitution, which guarantees religious freedom for 
all, adding that this sufficiently covered the demands made by 
the United States. 14 

This manoeuvre of Vatican diplomacy, although seemingly 
clear for all to see, was aimed simultaneously at several objec¬ 
tives, almost all contradicting one another, but cleverly calcu¬ 
lated in advance to fit a long-range strategical jig-saw puzzle. 
It proposed that help to Russia be conditioned by the Soviet 
surrender to the American demand for religious freedom. 
This was not only an excuse for not abating Catholic opposi¬ 
tion to Roosevelt; it was a genuine demand. What was not 
genuine about it was that the Vatican wanted a special assur¬ 
ance of complete religious freedom to be given specifically to 
the Catholic Church, and to no one else. This owing to one 
capital reason: that the Vatican’s long-range policy was 



23O NATURE AND EXERTIONS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY 

nothing less than the conversion of Russia to Catholicism, as 
we shall presently see. It was Fatima in action. The Vatican, 
while pursuing diametrically opposite goals, by its use of 
Isolationism and its negative reply to Roosevelt, could not help 
taking full advantage of such a golden opportunity to black¬ 
mail two countries: the Soviet Government into giving a 
formal assurance that religious freedom would be maintained, 
lest American war material be withheld, and the American 
Government into forcing the Soviets to give such a guarantee 
as the price of American help. 

This, while at the same time its objective was indirect help 
to Hitler, by preventing American help for Russia. Which 
meant that to deny assistance to the Soviets under the pretext 
of religious differences would help Hitler to win the war, 
Russia to lose it, and the Democracies—those “ horrible 
fetishes ” of the Western world—to go under. 

Then, on December 7, 1941, came the Japanese attack on 
Pearl Harbour and the subsequent declaration of war on the 
United States by Hitler and Mussolini. 

For a moment American Catholicism was stunned. Then 
it found its feet again and became interventionist, as befitted 
the unscrupulousness of Vatican diplomacy, which, by per¬ 
mitting the American Church to somersault once more, riding 
on the crest of an outraged American patriotism, formulated 
another plan, to ensure its future in case the war should not 
end as it envisaged at this period. 

The entry into the Second World War of Japan and the 
U.S.A. altered the Vatican’s world strategy. Vatican diplo¬ 
macy, however, had not been caught unawares. And, having 
made the necessary readjustment to the transformed situation, 
it continued as ever on its crooked way, until at the end of the 
conflict it emerged as an ally and, indeed, as a full-blooded 
partner of the U.S.A. 

The exertions of Vatican diplomacy consequently, owing to 
the fact that they are so multifariously diverse and have behind 
them the intangible might of religion and the colossal adminis¬ 
tration of a world-wide Church, can affect small and big 
issues of local and global dimensions. Hence no political 
movement, ideology, Church, nation, or continent can afford 
to disregard them as of no importance. 



NATURE AND EXERTIONS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY 231 

The few instances of its working just given, although 
typical, do not tell the whole story. For the Vatican is not 
only a diplomatic Power with political ambitions; it is a 
political Power with immense religious objectives, for the 
attainment of which it will unhesitatingly employ diplomacy 
and politics, ideological animosity, religious differences, 
national and racial odium. 

The main characteristic of Vatican diplomacy in the last 
decades of the first half of the twentieth century has been its 
enmity of Communism and Soviet Russia. Hence, to many, 
Vatican diplomacy is an instrument employed to fight the 
greatest evil which threatens contemporary society. This 
is not only an illusion purposefully cultivated by the Vatican; 
it is a most dangerous fallacy. For Vatican diplomacy has 
pursued the same kind of war that it is at present pursuing 
against Communism, against other ideologies, and even 
religions. Communism is only its latest enemy No. i. Before 
Communism was even heard of, Vatican diplomacy was busy 
mobilizing the world with the same hatred, using the same 
diplomatic tricks and religious and political slogans as it does 
now, against Protestantism at one time, against Secularism at 
another, against the Orthodox Church, against Liberalism, 
and against Democracy. 

Liberalism and Democracy in the last century, as already 
stated, were to the Vatican precisely what Socialism and Com¬ 
munism have become in the twentieth. We shall soon see 
how Vatican diplomacy conducted a war against them which 
for its unscrupulousness has nothing to envy the one it is now 
waging against Communism. 

The reason which makes the Vatican wage such uncom¬ 
promising wars is not only that it wants to destroy an enemy 
of religion, but that in its religious or ideological enemies it 
sees its potential rivals to world domination. The more 
potentially capable they are of dominating society, the fiercer 
the Vatican’s war against them. 

Vatican diplomatic exertions, in spite of changes of times, 
names, places, and opponents, are always the same. Vatican 
goals remain always the same, its ultimate one being the main 
objective of all its short- and long-range deeds. 

Owing to this, Vatican activities can be recognized in any 



NATURE AND EXERTIONS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY 


232 

age, in any place, against any enemy, under any camouflage, 
whether screened by political or religious screens, as the 
unmistakable activities of a most sinister Power, scheming for 
the thwarting of the freedom of men. 

They can be directed against a rival Church, like the 
Orthodox Church, or burst out against Protestantism, or even 
against non-Christian nations, with a view to conquering them. 

Vatican long-range diplomacy can cause a local commotion 
to put pressure upon a distant central government, as it did 
with Spain, and the riots of Mexico City in the seventeenth 
century; or sacrifice a ruler it originally supported, e.g. the 
Emperor Maximilian, or to help in bringing about the down¬ 
fall of one of the most liberal monarchies of modern times, 
e.g. in Brazil in the nineteenth. 

It will not hesitate to blackmail a government, as it did 
France, in the issue of Alsace-Lorraine; or to compel a 
nation to remain neutral during a world war, as it did with 
Portugal in the case of Timor Island; or to force a people to 
co-operate with an aggressor, e.g. during the Japanese occupa¬ 
tion of the Philippine Islands in the Second World War. 

It will not hesitate to bring about the downfall of a demo¬ 
cratic government, as it did in France; to work for the unseat¬ 
ing of a dictator whom it had supported for over twenty years, 
as it did Mussolini; to scheme for the substitution of another 
by one of his lieutenants, or actually to participate, by remote 
control, in an attempt to assassinate him, as it did with Hitler. 

To undermine, weaken, and possibly destroy democracy, the 
Vatican will not hesitate to make use of the most important 
instrument of a democratic administration, elections; to befoul 
or cheat the will of the people by putting heavy religious, 
diplomatic, or political pressure upon the electors; to support 
friendly rulers, friendly governments, friendly dictators. 

To do this it will directly advise the electors to vote in a 
given way, as it did in the Saar; or it will dissolve a political 
party to pave the way to a dictatorship, as it did in Italy; or to 
sway another in a given direction, so as to help a most ruthless 
tyranny to be installed over a great people, as it did with 
Hitler. To confuse the electors, the Vatican will not hesitate 
to resort to the most hypocritical devices, as it did in the case 
of the Rhineland, of Italy’s Fascist oath, of Japan’s Emperor- 



NATURE AND EXERTIONS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY 233 

worship laws. To swing elections in the direction desired it 
will openly blackmail, via religious pressure, a whole Catholic 
nation, as it did in the Italian general election of 1948. 

To flout the will of the people it will advise an unpopular 
king to remain, as it did King Victor Emmanuel; another 
to resist the verdict of a nation, as it did King Umberto; and a 
third, to provoke almost a revolution, as it did King Leopold 
of Belgium. 

It will not hesitate to plot with an aggressor for the annexa¬ 
tion of a whole country by another, as it did with Austria; to 
disrupt a republic, as in the case of Czechoslovakia; or to help 
in the military defeat of a great European nation, as it did 
with France. 

To mobilize the Church of a whole country against its own 
government, screening a purely political enmity with the 
mantle of religion, asitdidTn^gkgd; to organize one of the 
most widespread international diplomatic plots, as it did in 
Hungary with Cardinal Mindszenty; or to inspire perhaps the 

, as 

iTraSrits political rule over countries subject to 
Protestant, Liberal, or Republican governments, Vatican 
diplomacy will not hesitate to be privy to a national insurrec¬ 
tion, as it did in Ireland; of a bloody revolution, as it did in 
Mexico; and directly to provoke one of the most bloody civil 
wars, as it did in Spain. 

To further its long-range political strategy over the West, 
the Vatican did not hesitate to become one of the hidden 
inspiring causes which finally led to the outbreak of the First 
World War; to help in the nursing, growth, and strengthen¬ 
ing of Fascism, and ultimately to side with Nazi Germany and 
Japan when it seemed as if they were going to stamp out the 
resistance of the democratic nations of the world, as it did 
during the Second World War; to foster one of the greatest 
hate crusades ever seen and to become one of the main inspirers 
of the feverish preparations for a third World War, as it did 
from the very end of the Second. 

All this has been, or is being, accomplished by diplomacy, 
which is “ held in high esteem by the Church, which possesses 
a special talent for transmitting this art to its envoys,” as an 




234 NATURE AND EXERTIONS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY 

Under-Secretary of State at the Vatican rightly declared. 
Whether the supposition that “ were Catholic diplomacy to 
come to an end, the world of diplomacy would be deprived of 
an exemplary model ” 15 is correct or not will be left to the 
reader to judge. 

Meanwhile, the reality is that what has just been indicated 
is not based on mere speculation. It is an integral part of the 
history of our contemporary world. 

Are these the wild, unfounded accusations so frequently cast 
against an institution like the Catholic Church, which, because 
of her power and success, has created so much envy, fear, and 
antagonism, and which is so often heard advocating the 
peaceful settlement of disputes between classes, States, and 
ideologies—indeed, which has so distinguished herself in her 
advice to the nations to preserve world peace ? 

Or are these facts concretized by the unscrupulous, premedi¬ 
tated exertions of an institution hiding behind the cloak of 
religion, talking of peace but in reality preparing for war, and 
everlastingly busy in waging a relentless one against the 
freedom of the individual ana of nations, with a view to its 
final, complete, and absolute dominion over the entire world? 

The fairest reply is to let the Vatican’s deeds speak for 
themselves. 



13 

DEADLINES S OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY 
IN PEACE 


T he fundamental objective of 
Vatican diplomacy, as we have 
already seen, is the furtherance of 
the dominion of the Catholic Church. To achieve this schemes 
of all kinds are conceived, executed, discarded, resumed, 
disguised under diverse names at different periods, according 
to the stability or fluidity of national and international affairs 
or to various other factors, few of which escape the scrutiny of 
so ancient and cunning a diplomacy as that of the Vatican. 

Vatican diplomacy does not necessarily always spring to the 
fore attired in orthodox diplomatic garb. As a rule, it hides 
behind secular instruments. Only in exceptional cases does it 
overtly follow a given course, with a view to creating a favour¬ 
able habitat. 

The Vatican accepts disasters provided it can supplant old 
schemes with new ones. In spite of this, however, it never 
abandons its original failed policies, no matter how far they 
have been relegated to the political backwaters. And at the 
first favourable opportunity they will be resumed, substantially 
in their entirety, though slightly modified or under a different 
name. 

The methods, shades of slyness, schemes used by Vatican 

335 



DEADLINESS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY IN PEACE 


236 

diplomacy are countless. Notwithstanding their immense 
variety, one theme, however, emerges stubbornly, persistently, 
and indefatigably: the furtherance of Catholic power every¬ 
where and above all. 

Concrete examples are more eloquent than theoretical 
elucidations. We shall now examine the working of Vatican 
diplomacy during almost three decades—i.e. from the end of 
the First World War until the end of the Second, glancing at 
some of its most typical instances. 

During this period Vatican diplomacy had ample scope to 
operate many of its diplomatic guiles, ranging from influenc¬ 
ing the elections of democracies and dictatorships alike to 
plotting against dictators to precipitate their downfall. 

^Elections, as already seen, can easily be influenced b y the 
religious pre ssure of d ie Catholic~ CHufcEr wheihertEey are 
local or "national, and' more often tnanTnoFthey are used by the 
Vatican as powerful instruments through which to exert its 
pressure upon parties, governments, and nations^ often altering 
the course of events to a degree seldom realized by either 
friends or opponents, j The methods employed vary according 
to circumstances and the goal at stake. Elections are not 
necessarily held to elect a government and are not always 
democratic. They can be exploited to enhance nationalism, 
an ideology, a regime, to give lustre to a dictator, and for many 
other similar purposes. But, whatever their nature, goal, or 
purpose, one thing is certain: the Vatican will never allow a 
single one to take place without trying to exploit it through 
political, religious, or diplomatic pressure, or all three 
simultaneously. 

As a rule, the Vatican interferes in elections to support a 
friendly party or government, to stultify a hostile ideology or 
coalition, or to put enough pressure upon either of these for 
them to carry out a given policy. 

Such were the nature and purpose of the Vatican’s inter¬ 
ference in the Saar elections. The Saar elections or plebiscite 
were held to bolster up the Nazi regime, not yet firmly in 
power. To promote more general support of himself, Hitler 
needed something which, by transcending party feelings, 
would mobilize die patriotism of all Germans. The Saar 
province, which had been under the administration of the 



DEADLINESS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY IN PEACE 237 

League of Nations for a number of years, gave him the ideal 
opportunity. In 1935 Hitler turned his eyes towards it with a 
view to reincorporation. The task, however, was not an easy 
one. For it was apparent that this desire of the people to be 
reunited with Germany, although strong, was not sufficient to 
neutralize the opposition to Nazism which had grown 
throughout the Saar, particularly since Hitler’s bloody purges 
of the previous years, when there were sudden massacres of 
leading Nazis, among whom there were several Catholics. 

But Hitler and the Vatican, although in the midst of a bitter 
quarrel, caused by the great question of who—the Nazi regime 
or the Catholic Church—should have the complete monopoly 
of education, knew also that the success of their own 
schemes depended upon mutual support. jThe Vatican had 
complained that Hitler had not respected the concordat which 
he had signed with the Vatican in 1933. In the Saar scheme 
the Vatican saw an opportunity to ask him to comply with 
the agreement. The Vatican would tell Saar Catholics to 
support Hitler’s plebiscite—i.e. to vote for incorporation into 
Nazi Germany—provided Hitler gave a solemn pledge to 
respect the concordat. Hitler promptly consented. The 
Catholic hierarchy of the Saar, who until then had used caution 
in their directives to the faithful, were instructed by the 
Vatican to give full support to the plebiscite. The Catholics 
voted, a nd voted as instructed. The Nazis obtained ninety-two 
per cent of the votes in support of their plan. Result: the Saar 
was reincorporated. Hitler had scored his first, badly needed, 
national-international triumph, the first of the many which 
were to lead him, with increasing boldness, towards the Second 
World War ^7 


The exertions of Vatican diplomacy-cum-Catholic Church 
are confined neither to influencing elections or political parties 
nor to the support of tyrants. They can take direct advantage, 
with equal skill and lack of principle, of situations, events, 
weaknesses of nations, and, indeed, of anything that can be 
used to exert pressure and threats in order to attain Catholic 
aims. 

For instance, it can profit by some abnormal internal situa- 



238 DEADLINESS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY IN PEACE 

tion, to extort, by the technique of religious-political blackmail, 
concessions to which the Catholic Church is not entitled. 

A typical instance of this technique was when it was used in 
connexion with Alsace-Lorraine. Here it consisted in Vatican 
diplomacy exerting relentless pressure upon the weak side of 
nationalism, to a greater degree and in a more direct way than 
in even the Saar example. 

When the Conference of Versailles, after the First World 
War, tried to readjust the changed map of Europe, it soon 
found that one of its thorniest problems was Alsace-Lorraine. 
The reincorporation of these provinces into France, however, 
had become also an increasing source of anxiety to the Republic 
itself, owing to the fact that the annexed territory seemed not 
at all disposed to settle down easily under French rule. This 
was a very delicate situation, as at that period, national 
susceptibilities being what they were, the reincorporation of 
Alsace-Lorraine had been transformed into a matter of para¬ 
mount French prestige and French national pride. 

One of the principal characteristics of Alsace-Lorraine was 
that it was solidly Catholic. It was thanks to this that Vatican 
diplomacy could soon make itself felt in the following manner: 
while the unrest grew, both in the recovered provinces and in 
Paris, the Vatican, which had followed events with the greatest 
interest, made it known that if “ the French Government had 
shown more understanding towards the situation of the 
Catholic Church in the Republic,” it might have attempted to 
exert its “ not inconsiderable influence upon Catholic Alsace- 
Lorraine for the establishment of a better understanding 
between the new province and the Republic.” 

This was the old policy of political blackmail, accomplished 
via the clergy or hierarchy of a local province, employed as a 
“ spiritual gendarmerie ,” as Napoleon called it, with a view to 
forcing a given policy upon a whole nation. This Catholic 
strategy is, as a rule, carried out as follows: if a given province 
or nation whose population is Catholic, when newly annexed 
or occupied, becomes seditious, the Church invariably tries to 
strike a bargain with the annexing power. Pope Leo XIII 
followed this grand policy with Great Britain in respect of 
Ireland, with Germany in respect of Poland, with Austria in 
respect of the Croats, and in other instances. 



DEADLINESS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY IN PEACE 239 

Alsace-Lorraine fell into such a category, and this Vatican 
strategy was promptly put to work. It was operated with 
ability, and its promotion conducted according to rules. In 
1919 Alsace-Lorraine began to stir dangerously against France, 
creating the most serious trouble. This became even more 
alarming when the two provinces sent a large group of 
deputies to Parliament. These were not only deputies. They 
were—and the first thing they did was to make this very clear 
—Catholic deputies: in fact, the most numerous Parliamentary 
deputation seen by the French Chamber since 1880. 

The Catholic bloc began a co-ordinated and relentless agita¬ 
tion, threatening seccession unless the French Government 
acceded to their requests—or, rather, to the Vatican’s requests. 
For behind it all there had been, from the very beginning, the 
hand of Vatican diplomacy. 

Within a short period the Catholic pressure had become so 
powerful that the Government, owing chiefly to the delicacy of 
the problems involved, finally had to give way. Negotiations 
were opened and a bargain struck. The Vatican undertook to 
keep the Catholic Alsatian rebels in check, provided, in return, 
the French Republic stopped its official hostility against the 
Church, abolished certain anti-Catholic laws, and granted 
other privileges deemed useful to the Catholic Church. The 
Republic, one of the least religious countries of Europe, whose 
population was mostly hostile to the influence of the Church 
and whose statesmen were all well-known anti-clericals, 
dropped the anti-Catholic ardour of former times. The most 
important laws inimical to the Church were repealed—or, when 
not repealed, were not enforced—and the religious orders, 
particularly the Jesuits, which had been expelled, returned. 

That was not all. To complete its success, the Vatican 
pressed also for a diplomatic triumph. It insisted that the 
French Republic, whose paramount policy was absolute 
Separation of Church and State, should be permanently repre¬ 
sented at the Vatican and should receive a nuncio in Paris. 
Result: the Republic, denounced by the Catholic Church for 
more than forty years as that cursed “ Republic of Atheists, 
Jews, Freemasons, and Liberals,” and against which she had 
mobilized all her religious and political forces in vain attempts 
to bring about its downfall, now appointed an ambassador at 
1 



DEADLINESS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY IN PEACE 


24O 

the Papal Court and welcomed a Papal Nuncio in Paris. A few 
years later a French Minister visited the Vatican in his official 
capacity, for the first time in the memory of living Frenchmen. 

The Vatican did not leave the matter at that. It cemented 
its diplomatic victory with a religious-plus-patriotic triumph. 
And Joan of Arc, a woman whom the Church had burned, via 
the secular arm, because she had embarrassed the Vatican 
diplomacy of her time, was solemnly canonized. This, in 
view of the exalted state of French Nationalism at this period, 
was one of the most astute moves in the whole affair and 
enabled the Vatican to exploit French patriotic sentiment. 
The Government, caught once more in the Vatican’s net, 
although composed of agnostic elements, in order not to 
offend popular patriotism had to take part in various religious 
ceremonies and pay public obeisance to the Catholic Church 
—something that had not been seen since the days of 
Napoleon III. 

The Radical forces throughout France protested bitterly 
against this casting off of the Republic’s traditional policy, 
particularly at the reception of the Papal Nuncio, and they 
raised such a storm in Parliament that the Government, caught 
between the two, to avoid a fall considered accepting their 
advice. The Vatican, however, determined not to lose what it 
had gained, intervened once more and exerted pressure from 
Alsace-Lorraine. The Alsatian Catholic deputies rose in the 
Chamber with a unanimous declaration. Their duty, they 
announced, was “ to safeguard the paramount interest of the 
Church,” which, properly translated, meant that they were 
again threatening the Republic with secession if diplomatic 
relations with the Vatican were interrupted. The Government 
was compelled to yield. Result: French Ambassadors to the 
Holy See have succeeded one another without interruption ever 
since. 


In the Saar elections the Vatican openly influenced the 
electorate via the hierarchy. There are elections, however, 
when such interference is neither advisable nor useful. In 
such cases the Vatican tries to influence the electorate via the 
hierarchy, but obliquely—that is to say, by a doubtful display 



DEADLINESS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY IN PEACE 24I 

of neutrality, meant to assuage hostile criticism, while at the 
same time swaying the electoral tide according to its will. The 
Rhineland elections were a typical example. 

In March, 1936, Hitler, once more defying France and the 
League of Nations, occupied the demilitarized zone of the 
Rhineland. This, besides being an open defiance of solemn 
treaties, was also an ominous indication of things to come. 
All Europe reacted sharply to the coup, and various countries 
took military measures and, indeed, even mobilized themselves. 
Although Britain counselled France not to oppose the Hitler 
coup —and hence the success of the move was pardy imputed 
to her—the reality of the matter was that the Vatican, prior to 
and after it, played a paramount role in the adventure. 
Hitler’s second spectacular success again had been made 
possible, in fact, only by its co-operation. 

But the Vatican’s support of this second Hitlerian adventure, 
unlike the one in the Saar, could not possibly be too obvious, 
as by then the nature, methods, and aims of Nazism had been 
sufficiently displayed for world opinion to detest them. Any 
open supporter would have shared in the opprobrium. And 
the Vatican, more than any other Power, could not afford 
this lest it antagonize the millions of Catholics outside 
Germany. 

Dictatorships, although undemocratic, as a rule pride them¬ 
selves on the support of the masses. Hitler was particularly 
anxious to have the support of the Rhinelanders for his new 
coup. As with the Saar, however, Nazi slogans were not 
enough. But fortunately, like the Saar, the Rhineland was a 
Catholic part of Germany. The Catholic Church could help 
to tip the balance in Nazism’s favour. 

The Vatican was more than willing to do this, not only in 
pursuance of its general policy of strengthening the Nazi 
regime, in which it saw a great bulwark against Soviet Russia, 
but, again, to add more weight to its bargaining to force Hitler 
to observe the concordat. Prior to Hitler’s coup the hierarchy 
was, th er efore, ordered by the Vatican to initiate a cautious 
but persistent campaign with a view to persuading Catholics to 
support Nazism. 

A considerable number of Catholics, however, in spite of 
this, continued to show marked antipathy to the regime. Its 



242 DEADLINESS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY IN PEACE 

tyranny, murders, concentration camps had become too well 
known to be totally ignored. Unless this hostility could be 
removed the coming plebiscite was seriously endangered. 

The Vatican, however, was by no means at a loss. And 
soon it found a way by which to save its face while at the same 
time influencing doubtful Catholics to vote for Hitler. 

The German bishops were instructed to issue a pastoral 
letter. This was addressed to all the Germans, although 
Catholic Rhinelanders were not slow to perceive that it was 
meant particularly for them. The letter, the gist of which 
had been drafted at the Vatican itself, recognized that in many 
Catholics there existed “ a painful conflict of conscience ” with 
regard to supporting the Nazi regime—that is to say, it recog¬ 
nized that many Catholics were against Nazism and therefore 
were not going to vote for it. To remove such hostility, con¬ 
sequently, it was necessary to remove the “ painful conflict of 
conscience.” Once that was achieved, the pressure of Catholic 
propaganda would do the rest. 

And here the classic formula of restrictio mentalis —mental 
reservation—was set to work. Catholic sophistry—or, to be 
more realistic, dishonesty—which we examined before, does 
not corrode only the inner conscience of individuals. It can 
and does corrode the self-respect of whole regions, and some¬ 
times nations, with concrete social or political results far 
transcending the mere moral issue involved. 

The case of the Rhineland was a case in point, and the 
Vatican unhesitatingly implemented its “ magic formula.” 
The Catholic hierarchy, of course, did not bother to explain 
the subde difference between equivocation, mental reservation, 
and the like. But, having reduced Catholic theological com¬ 
plexities to their simplest common denominator, they presented 
the Catholic electorate with the simplest of formulas. 

Catholics who disapproved of Nazism and who, therefore, 
had decided to vote against it, had better vote for it, all the 
same. For it was their duty to strengthen the Fatherland 
(read. Hitler). As far as the qualms of their consciences were 
concerned, they could appease these by thinking, while voting 
for Hitler, that, although supporting him, they did not really 
approve of the things Hitler might do, of which they—or, 
rattier, the Catholic Church—did not approve. Incredible 



DEADLINESS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY IN PEACE 243 

advice, coming from the seat of morality for the whole of the 
human race? Not at all. Here are the actual words: 

We give our vote to the Fatherland, but that does not signify approval 
of matters for which we could not conscientiously be held responsible . 1 

Thereupon, the whole religious and semi-religious 
machinery of the Catholic Church having been thoroughly 
mobilized, the hierarchy from the pulpits preached, praised, 
and hailed the Rhineland incorporation into Nazi Germany. 

The elections were another Hitlerian triumph. Once the 
results became known, thanksgivings were held in cathedrals, 
church bells pealed everywhere, “ Heil Hitlers ” were shouted 
from almost every Catholic throat. Hider had scored his 
second grand international victory. 

From then onwards, having become certain of his 
stability and of the support given to his regime by many 
forces, inside and outside Germany, led by the Vatican, he set 
about carrying out bigger schemes, the results of which were, 
within three short years, to lead Europe to disaster. 


While Vatican diplomacy can steer the policy of a country 
in a given direction, it can also, in reverse, bring about the 
downfall of a government of which it disapproves because 
such a government has taken measures antagonistic to the 
Church. 

A typical instance of this occurred in France in 1951, on the 
question of Catholic schools, as we have already seen. Another 
case, showing the Vatican in all its most dishonest guile, 
occurred in the years following the First World War. During 
the tenure of office of the Radical Premier, Edouard Herriot, 
the new French Government announced a triple programme in 
connexion with relations between Church and State. This 
consisted of the following: first, the abolition of the Embassy 
to the Vatican, which had been provisionally resumed during 
the War and which, as we have already seen, had been created 
on the understanding that it was “ for the duration ” only; 
secondly, the enforcement of all pre-War laws regarding reli¬ 
gious congregations, towards which the French Government 
had pursued a policy of laisser faire; thirdly, the abolition of 



DEADLINESS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY IN PEACE 


244 

the special regime for Alsace-Lorraine, which had given 
separate denominational schools to each of the leading 
Churches. 

The Vatican, which was inevitably hostile to such a govern¬ 
ment owing to its liberal elements, at the enunciation of these 
points mobilized its machinery and ordered the French 
hierarchy to co-ordinate all their forces to resist the new 
Government, indeed, to put up such pressure as to compel it to 
resign. The French hierarchy duly issued a signed declaration, 
and, after having protested against the action of the Herriot 
Government, it urged all French Catholics to employ every 
legal means to bring about its downfall. 

The conflict rapidly became nation-wide, and France was 
soon divided into two bitterly hostile camps. The Prime 
Minister, during a remarkable address to the Chamber of 
Deputies, after having accused the Vatican of intervening in 
the political life of the country with the intent to dictate what 
laws the French State should and should not enact, covering 
matters which were the exclusive concern of a democratic 
government, warned the Vatican that a sovereign country 
could not tolerate the open intervention of an alien authority 
in its domestic affairs. “ This is an open declaration of war,” 
he said, referring to the orders of the French bishops. “ Rome 
must cease its attempts to make of Catholicism a political 
party,” he ended; “ the Pope, by congratulating French 
Catholics for having organized against their own Government, 
has openly intervened in French internal affairs . . . instead of 
remaining politically neutral.” 

The Vatican, far from being intimidated, issued new 
instructions. And, having failed to bring about the Govern¬ 
ment’s downfall by frontal attack, it launched upon most 
insidious, oblique tactics, soon destined to be crowned with 
success. On assuming power the Herriot Government had 
been confronted with a most disturbing secret, a legacy of the 
preceding Poincare Government, which had caused the Bank 
of France to inflate the country’s currency by two billion francs 
without letting the nation know anything about it. Herriot 
decided to fill the gap by vast internal loans, knowing that the 
very existence of his Government would depend on the success 
of this venture. Failure would mean disclosure of the secret, 



DEADLINESS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY IN PEACE 245 

accusations against his administration, and ultimate downfall. 
The Vatican—being well informed of the predicament in 
which the Government found itself, thanks to its Intelligence 
service in the form of Catholic politicians, a service which was 
to render invaluable hints in the case of the U.S.A. during and 
after the Second World War—ordered the French hierarchy 
to boycott the loans. A nation-wide campaign was imme¬ 
diately initiated. All Catholic media likely to influence public 
opinion—even the pulpits—were used. Catholics were 
warned, and indeed forbidden, to support the loans. 

The vast majority of Catholics obeyed the injunctions. The 
loan plan was a complete failure. The Herriot Government 
fell. 

To support a friendly government or to oppose a hostile 
regime the Vatican does not always mobilize the voters or the 
hierarchy of a country. There are occasions when its pressure, 
instead of being exerted at the bottom—-that is, upon the 
electorate—is exerted at the top—that is, upon the leaders. 

That is what happened with the Catholic Party in Italy 
shortly before and after the rise to power of Fascism. The 
Italian Catholic Party, following the end of the First World 
War, had grown to such an extent that within a few years of 
its creation it had become the largest single party with the 
exception of the Socialists. It was predicted, and with good 
reason, that it would shordy go into power. Two main factors, 
however, soon lessened its chances to attain such a goal: (a) 
the creation of the Fascist movement, and ( b) the enthronement 
of a new Pope, Pius XI. 

Pius XI, who disliked democracy, on assuming the Vatican 
leadership promptly discarded his predecessor’s political 
strategy and no less prompdy set in motion an entirely new 
one. Political Catholicism was substituted by alliance with 
anti-Communist authoritarian movements. 

In Italy one of the major obstacles endangering the Fascist 
movement’s rise to power was, ironically enough, the Catholic 
Party. This, at a critical stage of Fascist progress, negotiated 
with other parties for the setting up of a Coalition Govern¬ 
ment. The reason: to prevent Fascism from seizing power. 
The Catholic Party mobilized its rank and file, asking particu- 



246 DEADLINESS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY IN PEACE 

larly the Catholic clergy to support the new political alliance. 
No sooner did the Vatican hear of the project than it issued a 
circular letter, directed to the whole Italian hierarchy 
(October 2, 1922), in which it bade the clergy not to identify 
themselves with the project of the Catholic Party and urged 
them, instead, to remain neutral. Such an order at such a 
moment meant only one thing—repudiation of the Catholic 
Party and hence of the projected Coalition Government. 

The Party, deprived, from such unexpected quarters, of the 
support upon which it counted most—namely, that of its very 
backbone, the clergy—felt itself so weakened that it no longer 
had the necessary weight to press for a coalition, which, owing 
to such a turn or events, never took place. A few weeks later, 
on October 22, Mussolini staged his March on Rome and, with 
the consent of the King, assumed power. 

Within a few months (January 20, 1923) Cardinal Gasparri, 
the Vatican Secretary of State, had already had numerous 
secret meetings with Mussolini. In the course of these a 
definite bargain between the Church and Fascism was struck. 
The Vatican would not be hostile to the consolidation of the 
regime, but would contribute indirectly to its stability by the 
gradual removal of the regime’s main political obstacle, the 
Catholic Party. The Party would, in due time, be reduced to 
impotence by the Church herself. In exchange, the Fascist 
Government would pursue a policy of friendship and co-opera¬ 
tion with the Church, which had to be treated as a privileged 
body in the religious, educational, and political fields. 

That same spring Mussolini decided to paralyse Parliament 
and came out with a proposal which, by compelling the Cham¬ 
ber of Deputies to approve an electoral reform, would assure 
the Fascist Party of at least two-thirds of the total votes in the 
forthcoming elections. The result of its successful completion 
would have been the first important step to open dictatorship. 
The Leader of the Catholic Party, supported by his 107 
Catholic Party deputies, rejected the proposal. Their stubborn 
resistance seriously imperilled Mussolini’s plan. But it did 
something more: it endangered the new grand policy of the 
Vatican itself, directed at establishing the first Fascist State in 
Europe. 

The Pope acted with promptitude. On June 9, 1923, the 



DEADLINESS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY IN PEACE 


247 

Leader of the Catholic Party received a peremptory order, 
direct from the Vatican, (a) to resign his leadership, (b) to 
disband the Party. The Leader was given no alternative. 
Although shocked, he bowed to the Vatican’s bidding. He 
was not only a good Catholic, but a good Catholic priest: the 
double ties of blind obedience did not permit him to do any¬ 
thing else. With the removal of its leading spirit the Catholic 
Party swifdy declined. It did not dissolve immediately, owing 
to the resistance of many of its members who refused to bow 
to the Vatican’s orders, but it never recovered from the blow. 
The following year the Pope ordered all priests still supporting 
it to resign. Two years later (1926) Mussolini, with the com¬ 
plete approval of the Pope, declared it illegal. The Italian 
Catholic Party was no more. 

With its last internal obstacle wholly removed the Fascist 
Government at long last swifdy transformed itself into what 
both Mussolini and the Vatican had always wanted: the first 
European Fascist dictatorship, upon which all Fascist regimes 
in Europe were subsequendy modelled. 

In that same year (December 20, 1926), while the Leader of 
the Catholic Party was treading foreign soil on his journey to a 
long and bitter exile, Pius XI, “ the man with no love for 
democracy,” with all the authority of the Catholic Church and 
all his pontifical prestige to give weight to his words, after 
having praised the new Fascist State, solemnly declared its 
founder to have been sent by Divine Providence: “ Mussolini 
is a man sent by Divine Providence,” he said. 

The Pope’s praise echoed round the Catholic world. And 
although not all Italian Catholics bowed to the Papal will, 
most of them did so, swelling the ranks of the Fascist Party, 
while Catholics abroad began to look upon Fascist Italy as 
something to be imitated. After all, if the Church had given 
it her blessing, then the new Fascist ideology was good, and 
hence it was bound to prosper. Particularly if, as the Pope 
had so often declared. Fascism had come to destroy that 
greatest enemy of the Catholic Church: Communism. 


The dissolution of a Catholic Party to pave the way for a 
dictatorship might be a comparatively easy matter when the 



248 DEADLINESS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY IN PEACE 

Party is as young and lacking in experience as was the Italian, 
created in 1919 and dissolved in 1926. When, however, a 
Catholic Party is more than half a century old, the keystone 
in the political balance of a great country, as it was in Germany, 
even the Vatican has to use caution. To force it to play a role 
to fit in with the Vatican’s new grand political strategy, conse¬ 
quently, the tactics employed with the Italian Catholic Party 
would be not only useless but dangerous. Hence the adoption 
of an entirely different policy. 

Here, the Vatican’s basic, long-range strategy was the 
following: The Party, instead of being rapidly weakened and 
dissolved, had, on the contrary, to continue to play the para¬ 
mount role it had played in the past; indeed, it had to acquire 
additional strength via political alliances or coalitions. This 
was not so much a useful as a necessary policy, in view of the 
particular political habitat. It would serve to encourage certain 
German Nationalist forces and Right-Wing movements 
gradually to steer the nation towards some form of Right- 
Wing authoritarianism. Once this had been accomplished 
the support of militaristic and industrial forces would help to 
install an outright Fascist dictatorship. A powerful Catholic 
Party, therefore, could become an invaluable instrument in the 
hands of German Catholicism, a most necessary key to the 
success of the Vatican’s new European political strategy. 

The role to be played by the German Catholic Party, being 
of an extremely difficult nature, had to be carried out under 
expert guidance. The Party itself, during this process, had to 
be carefully nursed, directed, and steered, not only by German 
leaders, but by a special representative from the Vatican. Once 
the ultimate objective—the installation of a Right-Wing 
dictatorship—had been achieved, the Catholic Party could 
safely be sent out of existence. 

And that was precisely the role which the Centre Party of 
Germany was made to play, from the years immediately 
follow ing the First World War to the rise of Hitler. 

Unlike in Italy, here in Germany the Vatican employed 
almost exclusively political-diplomatic instruments. Its para¬ 
mount ones: the Papal Nuncio to Germany, later Secretary of 
State of the Vatican, and the most influential non-German of 
the Catholic Party itself. 



DEADLINESS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY IN PEACE 


249 

The Centre Party had been one of the most important 
parties in Germany from 1870 until 1933. Although essentially 
a Catholic Party, created with the definite task of furthering 
the interests of the Church in the political field, yet, as its very 
name implied, it followed mostly a middle road. For various 
decades it tried to keep a precarious but permanent balance 
between the Parties of the extreme Eight and those of the 
extreme Left, with great success. Owing to its peculiar posi¬ 
tion it played a role disproportionate to its size. And the fate 
of Parties, coalitions and, indeed, even governments more than 
once came to hang upon the support, opposition, or neutrality 
of the Centre Party. 

After the First World War the Centre developed a strong 
Left Wing in its midst. This, besides aiming at social reform, 
advocated the preservation of democracy in post-War Germany. 
For a period it seemed as if this Catholic Left Wing would 
carry the whole Party with it. Coalitions were formed with 
Liberals and even with Socialists. 

In 1921 Erzberger, the leader of these Leftish Catholics, was 
assassinated. Shortly afterwards the Centre took a sharp new 
turn. Pius XI had become Pope and, as we have already seen, 
had embarked upon his policy of helping Right-Wing 
authoritarian systems throughout Europe. Germany, naturally, 
loomed very prominent in his new political plans; and, 
although Vatican influence there was not as strong as in Italy, 
yet, owing to the existence of a powerful Catholic Party, a 
policy designed to influence Germany to accept some form of 
authoritarianism favourable to the Church was conceived and 
promptly adopted. 

A man of special qualifications was selected for this task. 
Although for some years undetected, he became the arbiter of 
the Centre Party and consequently, to a great extent, of 
German political life. The man: the Vatican’s representative 
in Germany, Eugenio Pacelli, the Papal Nuncio and future 
Pope Pius XII. 

Pacelli could not have been more suited for the job. He 
had been in Germany since 1920, first in Munich and then in 
Berlin, and had followed German politics so closely that he was 
quickly regarded as, not only an expert, but also the inspirer 
of the two German Catholic Parties: the Bavarian People’s 



25O DEADLINESS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY IN PEACE 

Party and the Centre Party. No Catholic leader of either 
movement took a single important step without first consulting 
him; and, as Pacelli soon became the new Pope’s right arm, 
the most important decisions in the long run came to rest 
with him. 

At first the Papal Nuncio co-operated with Erzberger. To 
encourage the Catholic democratic leader? Far from it. To 
keep him in check. After Erzberger’s assassination and the 
advent of the new Pope, Pacelli threw off the mask. All his 
exertions became directed to the attainment of two paramount 
goals: (a) to impart to the Centre Party an extreme Right- 
Wing orientation, and (b) to support all Right-Wing move¬ 
ments in Germany, via the influence of the Centre Party, with 
a view to setting up an extreme Right-Wing government or 
regime. 

The first concrete results of his efforts were seen a few years 
later, when, in 1924, the Centre Party suddenly rejected the 
Weimar Coalition, which was composed of Catholic Left- 
Wingers, Liberals, and Social Democrats. The new Leader of 
the Centre Party, Dr. Marx, an intimate friend of Pacelli, never 
made a move without first consulting him. The rejection of 
the Weimar Coalition had been instigated by the Papal Nuncio. 
This was not all. Pacelli became the instrument thanks to 
which a coalition between the Centre Party and the German 
National Party was planned and carried out. 

A new government was formed. And, ominously enough, 
the Chancellorship was assigned to Dr. Marx. The reading of 
the portent escaped the rank and file of German Catholics. 
But the move meant only one thing: the Catholic Party had 
embarked on an entirely reactionary policy. From then 
onwards it sold itself out completely to the heavy industrialists, 
super-nationalists, and militaristic elements, who came ever 
more swiftly to the fore with the quickening pace of German 
political events. 

The Centre Party’s swing to the extreme Right soon became 
one of the major factors in the strengthening of the reactionary 
forces throughout Germany. The first important phase of its 
alliance with the super-nationalist extreme Right-Wing parties 
lasted from 1924 until 1928. From 1928 until 1933 it became 
the major instrument to pave the way for the rise of the Nazi 



DEADLINESS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY IN PEACE 25I 

dictatorship, under the personal leadership of Pacelli, first as 
Papal Nuncio to Germany and subsequently as the Vatican’s 
Secretary of State. 

It is no mere coincidence that the last two German Chan¬ 
cellors prior to Hitler’s assumption of power were Catholics, 
the Leaders of the Centre Party, and the intimate friends of the 
former Papal Nuncio. It is also no mere coincidence that both 
strove to rule with Hitler; indeed, not only did they invite him 
to share their Governments, but it was chiefly thanks to them 
that Hitler was finally asked to form a Government. 

Thus, while Dr. Briining, Leader of the Centre Party and 
German Chancellor between 1930 and 1932, on two occasions 
invited Hitler into his Government via the formation of a 
coalition between the Centre and the Nazi Parties, Von Papen, 
the other Centre Party Leader and the last German Chancellor 
before the establishment of the Nazi regime, was the very man 
who persuaded Von Hindenburg, the German President, who 
had a great personal dislike of the Fuehrer, to call on Hitler to 
form a new Cabinet. It was mainly due to this that in 
January, 1933, Hitler finally became Chancellor of Germany. 
The Nazi regime had come into being. 

At the head of the new Germany, and second only to Hitler, 
there stood the German Vice-Chancellor, the Leader of the 
Catholic Party, the personal friend of Pacelli, the Papal knight 
Franz von Papen. 

Not long afterwards Hitler asked the Reichstag for an 
“ Empowering Enactment ” which would give him dictatorial 
powers within legal limits. To obtain this it was necessary for 
him to have a two-thirds majority. The success of his demand 
depended upon whether or not the Catholic Party voted for 
him. Hitler, who had already ingratiated himself with the 
Vatican by the unconstitutional suppression of the Communist 
Party, promised to open negotiations for a concordat, provided 
the Vatican ordered the Centre Party to vote for him. 

On March 23, 1933, the Reichstag met, and the Catholic 
Party, led by its Catholic Leaders, former Chancellor 
Briining and Mgr. Kaas, personal friend of Pacelli, voted for 
Hitler. 

Von Papen was sent to Rome, and during three whole 
months negotiated for a concordat. Full agreement having 



DEADLINESS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY IN PEACE 


252 

been reached, a formal pact between Nazi Germany and the 
Vatican was duly signed. 

Almost immediately the Centre Party, having received, 
direct from the Vatican, orders to disbana, issued a decree of 
hara-kiri, a decree of self-dissolution. After having stated 
how German political life had been put on an entirely new 
foundation, “ which leaves no room for Party activities,” the 
decree concluded thus: <c The German Centre Party, therefore, 
immediately dissolves itself, in agreement with Chancellor 
Hitler ” (July 5, 1933). 

Many German Catholics, who knew nothing of the secret 
Hitler-Pacelli bargain, bitterly protested at the^ dissolution. 
Thereupon the Vatican came out with a semi-official statement 
which, in a few sentences, proved, even to the blindest, what 
had taken place behind the scenes: 

The determination of Chancellor Hitler to eliminate the Catholic 
Party [it said] coincides with the Vatican’s desire to disinterest itself 
from political parties and confine the activities of Catholics to the 
Catholic Action organization outside any political party. 

As if this were not sufficient, die architect of the Nazi alliance, 
Pacelli, came himself to the fore and urged Catholics to do no 
less than co-operate with Hider. To be sure, Pacelli, the arch¬ 
diplomat, wrapped his exhortation in some <£ equivocation.” 
The meaning, however, could not be clearer. After having 
told Germans to resign themselves to being without their 
party, he told them to be loyal to the Nazi Government by 
being loyal to the concordat, for by so doing they would well 
serve both Nazi Germany and their Church: 

On account of the exclusion of Catholics as a political party from the 
public life of Germany [he told them] it is all the more necessary that 
the Catholics, deprived of diplomatic representation, should find in the 
diplomatic pacts between the Holy See and the National Socialist 
Government guarantees which can assure them . . . the maintenance of 
their position in the life of the nation. This necessity is felt by the 
Holy See . . . and is a grave responsibility before the German 
Catholics. . . . 

In spite of this, a stubborn section of German Catholics still 
refused to support Hider. Mgr. Kaas, the Leader of the dis¬ 
solved Catholic Party, thereupon on instructions from his 



DEADLINESS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY IN PEACE 253 

friend Pacelli, put it even more bluntly. Catholics must 
support Hitler, he said. They should not, and must not, have 
any fears about it. For Hitler’s ideals were “ noble ideals.” 
After which, having proudly foretold how, now that Hitler 
was in charge of German destiny, the future would be a 
splendid adventure, he confidently assured those perverted who 
dared still to entertain serious doubts about it by declaring that 
he, both as a Catholic priest and as a former Leader of the 
Centre Party, as well as his personal friend, Pacelli, had the 
amplest confidence in the abilities of the Fuehrer. “ Hitler 
knows well how to guide the ship,” he prophesied. 2 

The ship which, according to the Vatican, Hitler could 
guide so well, within a few brief years was to be hurled by the 
mighty swell of Nazi hatred against the rocks of the Second 
World War, where it was smashed to the echoing curses of the 
millions whom his folly had sent to their untimely graves and 
to the quarrelling of the living, wandering ever more gloomily 
in a devastated and ever-darkening world. 



14 

DEADLINESS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY 
IN WAR 


V ATICAN DIPLOMACY’S INHERENT LACK 

of principle is cultivated as effec¬ 
tively in war as in peace. Indeed, 
it is at its best during hostilities because of the secrecy of the 
activities of the warring powers. 

Nations, particularly in the West, often seem to believe that 
because the Vatican at times can side with them it does so 
because it has their interests at heart. There could hardly be 
a more foolish illusion. The Vatican has never promoted the 
interests of anyone except when, by so doing, it has furthered 
its own. As soon as this has been accomplished it will, should 
the opportunity arise, abandon or even betray its former ally 
without the slightest qualms, and, indeed, strike an alliance 
with somebody else, provided this is to its advantage, even if 
the latter is the enemy of the former. 

This occurred in the case of the Philippines, when it did not 
hesitate openly to side with Japan, blatantly abandoning the 
U.S.A., as far as it dared to do so without hopelessly jeopardiz¬ 
ing American goodwill. 

When, during the Second World War, Japan, having 
attacked the U.S.A. at Pearl Harbour, started on its meteoric 
career of conquest, one of its most prized Asiatic possessions 

254 



DEADLINESS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY IN WAR 255 

became tie Philippines. At this period the Vatican, believing 
the Japanese conquests to be of a permanent character owing 
to the fact that the Fascist powers were at the height of their 
success and the Allies at their lowest ebb, acknowledged the 
newly extended Japanese Empire by exchanging ambassadors 
with Tokyo. The move—at this juncture a very significant 
one—while causing exultation in Japan, created corresponding 
indignation in the Allied capitals, and this to such an extent 
tha t the Vatican went so far as to court the risk of making a 
permanent enemy of Roosevelt and other Allied leaders. The 
cause of it all, although not very obvious to many, was of the 
gravest consequence in the general conduct of the war in the 
East. The Philippines, in the eyes of the conquering Japanese, 
had a special significance, which had to be exploited to the full. 
Possession of the islands gave Japan tremendous prestige 
throughout Asia, as these had not only been territories belong¬ 
ing to the United States, but also had a considerable Western 
population—a fact, this, which could enable Japan to “ colonize 
an outpost of the white race.” 

Immediately following the conquest Japan set out to make 
of the Philippines the crown jewel of her military-political 
victories, and the better to achieve this it began in earnest to 
cultivate the support of the population. With such end in 
view it made a solemn promise to grant the Philippines com¬ 
plete independence by 1946. In October, 1943, a Constitution 
was promulgated, and in that same month a Republic was 
actually proclaimed. After this the Japanese went through 
the motions of dissolving the military government, and Tokyo, 
in addition to boasting to all the Far Eastern peoples of its 
magnanimous treatment of a conquered territory, pointed at 
the Philippines as a concrete example of Japan’s determination 
to banish “ White Imperialism ” from the Orient for all time. 

In spite of such gestures the discontent of the population not 
only remained but continued to grow. At this stage Vatican 
diplomacy came to the fore. And it set out to do no less than 
consolidate Japanese Imperialism in the islands. 

This was possible owing to the fact that the Philippines were 
mostly Catholics. The Japanese were smart enough never to 
forget the role which religion could play in political affairs.. 
Consequently, in addition to exploiting political and racial 



256 DEADLINESS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY IN WAR 

feelings, they set out to exploit with equal zest the religious 
sentiments of their new subjects. The attachment of the 
Philippines to the Catholic Church, the Japanese came to 
believe, would and could be made to play a most important 
part in securing their co-operation. 

Appeals to the Philippines, asking for support, were, there¬ 
fore, repeatedly issued. Many promptly collaborated. Others, 
however, remained neutral or even passively hostile. To swing 
these over to their side the Japanese pointed out that the 
Vatican was supporting Japan. Did the Philippines need 
concrete proofs ? Then they could ponder upon the significance 
of the Vatican-Japanese exchange of ambassadors, which had 
occurred in the previous year (1942). Even after this a 
considerable section stubbornly refused to co-operate. The 
Japanese decided upon another move, and when in the follow¬ 
ing year the Philippine Republic was set up, they simply 
declared that the Vatican had recognized the new Japanese- 
sponsored Philippines (October, 1943). 

To appreciate the importance of this announcement it must 
be remembered that the Philippines at this period had more 
than 13,000,000 Catholics. Their political attitude could be felt 
outside the Philippines, the only Christian-Catholic nation in 
Asia. Their example, whether for or against the Japanese, 
could greatly influence the 5,500,000 Catholics in India, the 
3,250,000 in China, the 2,000,000 in Indo-China, the 800,000 
in Indonesia, the 600,000 in Ceylon, and other Catholic groups 
scattered throughout the Asiatic continent. 

The announcement brought a swift denial from the Vatican. 
The reasons which prompted it were obvious. Since the 
previous year, when Japanese-Catholic negotiations had been 
initiated on this problem and the exchange of ambassadors had 
taken place, the course of the Second World War had greatly 
altered, both in the East and in the West. The certainty of a 
German-Japanese victory had vanished. Indeed, the Vatican had 
already taken the first ominous steps to ensure its own future 
with the potentially victorious Allies by engineering the down¬ 
fall of Mussolini in Italy (July, 1943). In addition to this, the 
bad blood which the Japanese-Vatican exchange of ambassadors 
had caused between the Vatican and Washington was still 
hampering the restoration of more harmonious relations with 



DEADLINESS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY IN WAR 257 

the U.S.A. And, as we shall presently see, the incident of 
Timor Island and Portugal’s refusal to enter the War had 
made the position of the Vatican even more precarious with 
the White House. 

The War, however, was not yet over and by no means won. 
Japan was still occupying immense territories. No one knew 
how many of these might remain in its possession, even after 
possible defeat. It was therefore a wise policy not to alienate 
the Japanese at this stage. While to support them in the open 
entailed obvious perils, to support them with discretion might 
prove just as efficient and ultimately extremely beneficial to 
the political plans of the Vatican. 

Having decided upon this new course the Vatican changed 
tactics. It withdrew as a conventional diplomatic Power, and 
began to operate disguised as a-religious organization. Result: 
the Church took over where conventional diplomacy left off. 
A Catholic Friendly Society was formed, to give what the 
Japanese called “ a practical demonstration directed at protect¬ 
ing the religion of the Philippino people.” After consultation 
with the Vatican Japan dispatched Catholics to the Philippines 
to consolidate the “ morals ” of Philippine Catholics. Their 
real object: to persuade Philippine Catholics of the necessity 
to consolidate Catholic-Japanese-Philippine co-operation and 
thus help the puppet Philippino Government to carry on in 
co-ordination with their Japanese masters. 

The Vatican’s blatant or secret support of Japan, its sly co¬ 
operation with Japanese aggressive Imperialism, its even slyer 
efforts to cow the Philippines into alien submission via indirect 
and even direct religious, diplomatic, and political pressure 
ended in nothing. 

This, however, was not because of a change of heart on the 
part of the Vatican, but because of something wholly outside its 
control—that is, because Japan lost the War. Had Japan won, 
the Vatican would have co-operated with it to the hilt, wholly 
impervious of whether a Nazi-Japanese victory would have 
spelt a partial or even total enslavement of the world. 

The Vatican’s basic rule—“ the Catholic Church, right or 
wrong”—is not a myth. It is reality, the inspirer of its diplo¬ 
matic exertions, and hence never to be forgotten in peace or 
especially during a shooting war. 



258 DEADLINESS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY IN WAR 

Vatican diplomacy can influence the conduct of nations and 
even the most important act of their foreign policy—namely, 
the declaration of war—as proved by the case of Portugal. 

In October, 1943, conquering Japan occupied Timor, a 
Portuguese territory in Asia. Portugal, after vainly repeated 
protests, decided to enter on the side of the Allies and to 
declare war on Japan. Portuguese intervention was keenly 
desired by the United States and Britain, as it would have put 
at their disposal the Western coast of Europe, which they 
longed to use for submarine bases. It must be remembered that 
at this juncture the civilian and military supplies to the Allies 
were gravely endangered by the Nazi U-boats, and that the 
Portuguese bases, therefore, had assumed an incalculable value 
to their cause. Previous Allied pressure having been vain, it 
was confidently expected that Portugal, at long last, would 
discard her neutrality and side with them.. 

The Vatican, however, thought otherwise, and, although at 
this period it was no longer sure whether the Nazi-Japanese 
aggressors would win the War, yet it dared to act almost as if 
they might still turn the tables in their favour. As long as 
there was the faintest chance of their doing so, the Vatican saw 
to it that the enemies of the Axis should not be helped, either 
directly or indirectly, and least of all by a Catholic Power. 

The Vatican, which was still pursuing a policy of thinly 
veiled co-operation with Japan in the East—e.g. via its support¬ 
ing of the Philippine Republic—could not contradict its own 
general strategy by following a different course in the West 
without stultifying its own designs, even if these did need 
radical modification. 

Hence the necessity that Portugal should not enter the War. 
Catholic Salazar was easily persuaded to remain neutral, to 
resist all Allied pressure, and not to yield any concession with¬ 
out first consulting the Holy See. 

Portugal’s adverse decision came promptly to the ears of the 
Allies, and their reaction was as blunt as it was quick. The 
most acid protests were dispatched from sundry Allied 
capitals. To whom were they directed? To Portugal? By no 
means. They were sent to Rome, where the “ Portuguese ” 
decision had been taken. 

President Roosevelt, who until then had managed to main- 



DEADLINESS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY IN WAR 259 

fain fair ly cordial relations with Pius XII, in spite of the 
Japanese-Vatican friendship, made it clear that Vatican inter¬ 
ference had greatly damaged the Allied cause and that reaction 
against the Catholic move might have a very harmful effect 
upon future American-Vatican relations. Roosevelt’s personal 
representative was sent to the Vatican; and, for an anxious 
period, Myron Taylor scurried between Rome and Washington, 
trying to breach the American-Vatican drift. At long last the 
Vatican—and this was primarily due to the fact that the War 
was going from bad to worse for the Axis—not wishing to 
jeopardize its future, persuaded Salazar to cede to the Allies 
the Azores, “ on lease,” to be used as naval bases, just as a 
compromise.” 

The gravity of the Vatican’s opposition to the Allied cause— 
and hence the seriousness of the harm it could do to a vital 
Allied strategic operation—can be gauged by the fact that the 
Vatican exerted similar pressure upon Catholic Eire, who, 
throughout the conflict, had also stubbornly refused to lend 
anti-submarine bases to the Allies. The refusal had been 
motivated, not only by Eire’s genuine desire to stay out of the 
fight, but also by her genuine sympathy with Nazi Germany. 
That this was not a myth was proved beyond doubt by a most 
significant Irish gesture. When Berlin fell} and Hitler, with 
his empire tumbling about him, finally committed suicide, the 
whole world sighed with a sigh of relief, and, indeed, rejoiced. 
One government, however, the devout Catholic Government 
of devout Catholic Ireland, did not do so. De Valera, after 
having heard Mass on behalf of the soul of Hitler, directed 
that Eire should officially demonstrate her sorrow at the death 
of the Fuehrer. A telegram, expressing most sincere con¬ 
dolences at his untimely death, was sent to the phantom Nazi 
Government by Ireland, the only country in the whole world 
to take this step. 


There are occasions, however, when hierarchical mobiliza¬ 
tion is unnecessary: indeed, when it is totally ignored and 
the diplomatic machinery of the Vatican is operated in its 
entirety within and outside any given country simultaneously. 

The effectiveness of Vatican diplomacy, when made thus 



DEADLINESS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY IN WAR 


260 

to gambol in its proper element—that is to say, in the diplo¬ 
matic-political morass of international intrigue—can be deadly. 
It can substantially contribute to the formation of a new 
government, and, indeed, even to the collapse of a dictatorship 
—e.g. Fascist Italy. 

Only a few years after her entry into the Second World War 
Fascist Italy began to show the first serious cracks in her 
armour. These were caused, among other factors, by the 
blows of the Allied armies and a growing popular subterranean 
discontent, manifested in the reappearance of revolutionary 
propaganda of an extreme Left-Wing nature, in the organiza¬ 
tion of menacing strikes, in the formation of underground 
movements, and similar political phenomena. 

At the Vatican these were seen as portents presaging the 
collapse of Fascism. A Fascist collapse, however, although a 
most regrettable event, was no longer viewed as an unbearable 
calamity. And this was due to the fact that the War, mean¬ 
while, had brought great changes in the political and military 
map of the world, and, last but not least, that the military 
recovery of the Allies had already made obvious which side 
was going to be victorious. In view of this the Vatican had 
already begun to swing to their side in its attempt to save what 
it could of the floundering Fascist Europe. If the fall of 
Fascism was accepted with resignation, the prospect of what 
would replace it gave the Vatican the shivers. For Fascism’s 
downfall would mean a resurgence of that same Red peril 
which Fascism had so successfully curbed. The spectre of 
Communism had thus become a menacing reality once more. 

A drastic policy was conceived, carefully planned, and 
promptly executed. The fall of Mussolini had to be hastened, 
to prevent the underground revolutionary forces from taking 
over at the moment of the Fascist collapse. His fall would 
have coincided with the setting up of an authoritarian regime. 
In this manner a Communist revolution would have been 
strangled at its very birth. The Allies, who, with the exception 
of Soviet Russia, feared the revolutionary elements as much as 
did the Church, supported the scheme. The Vatican, which 
had already been in contact with certain factions in Italy, 
including the Italian Monarchy, set to work. 

The plot took concrete shape in the early spring of 1943. 



DEADLINESS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY IN WAR 26 1 

One of its chief tools: Mgr. Spellman, Archbishop of New 
York, a close friend of Pius XII, who charged him with the 
task of becoming an intermediary link between himself, 
President Roosevelt, and the Italian plotters. Spellman arrived 
at Rome, contacted the chief Fascist conspirators—among them 
the King of Italy (February 22-23)— anc * various others, includ¬ 
ing Papal diplomats abroad, and reported progress to the 
White House. He travelled here and there, meeting people 
charged with carrying out the new policy on which the U.S.A., 
Britain, and the Vatican had embarked. Among others, two 
very prominent Papal diplomats in Istanbul, Mgr. Pappallardo 
and Mgr. Clarizio, of the State Secretariat of the Vatican. 

News of the secret negotiations, however, soon leaked out. 
The New Yor\ Times (May 18, 1943) broke the news, as did 
The Times of London, which stated “ from a well-informed 
Vatican source ” that a plan had been elaborated “ in a special 
message from Pope Pius to Archbishop Spellman, at present 
in the Middle East.” The plan aimed at making possible 
Italian “ voluntary collaboration in the ousting of the Fascist 
regime ” and “ an armistice at once.” 

On the night of July 25-26, 1943, a revolt broke out inside 
the Fascist Great Council. Mussolini went to see the King and 
was arrested. The fall of the Fascist regime, which had lasted 
more than twenty years, had been as simple as that. 

A military dictatorship was promptly set up. Secret nego¬ 
tiations with the Allies were swifdy initiated, and the Italian 
people, who for a few days following the fall of the Duce had 
wildly celebrated the return of freedom and the coming of' 
peace, within weeks found themselves under the heel of the 
new regime, run by Italian and Allied military authorities, 
while the War, which they had believed was ended for them, 
crept with ever-increasing fury from Sicily up to the Alps, 
bringing devastation and death throughout the peninsula for 
almost another two years. 1 

At the Vatican library, meanwhile, one of the employees 
was busily engaged with officials of the Vatican Secretariat of 
State, often conferring with Pius XII himself. In 1944 the 
defunct Italian Catholic Party was resurrected and launched in 
wrecked Italy, apparelled in the vestments of democracy. Its 
leader: Alcide De Gasperi, the former Vatican Librarian, the 



262 DEADLINESS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY IN WAR 

future Catholic Premier of post-War Italy, the man who for 
many eventful years was to sway Italian democracy in the 
direction willed by both the Vatican and the U.S.A. in their 
dire attempts to mobilize Europe against the Bolshevik 
giant, looming ever more menacing in the red sky of the East. 


It took the armed might of almost three-quarters of the 
world, the total industrial mobilization of the West, millions 
of lives, and almost six years of war to make Hitler bite the 
dust and to smash for good his monstrous creation: Nazi 
Germany. 

The saying that when diplomacy ends war begins, or that 
when war begins diplomacy ends, is not altogether true. For 
the warring nations, no matter how bitter their struggle, will 
always maintain some diplomatic channels, although indirectly 
and with discretion. This is done mostly via neutrals, their 
respective Intelligence services, and sometimes even via 
elements on either side desirous of bridging the gulf, each to 
further their own policy and sometimes even to further the 
cause of peace, provided this harmonizes with the interests of 
their country. 

As the channels through which their exertions are carried 
out are those of the most secretive diplomacy, it inevitably 
follows that the Vatican is made to play, as a rule, no mean 
role. 

This is precisely what occurred throughout the Second World 
War, particularly in connexion with Nazi Germany. Hitler 
had been helped into power by the Vatican. He had the 
blessing of the Church in his fight against Communism. Yet, 
when the time came, the Vatican did not hesitate to plot to 
have him removed, so as to further its own grand anti-Russian 
policy. This occurred soon after the subjugation of Poland, 
and prior to the offensive in the West, which was to bring 
about the fall of France (winter, 1939-40). Vatican diplomatic 
labours, at this early stage, centred on the scheme to bring 
about a “ negotiated peace ” between Nazi Germany and the 
Allies. A negotiated peace meant not only a Nazi peace, but, 
what was more important, the promotion of a Nazi-led Euro¬ 
pean coalition, to be eventually hurled against Soviet Russia. 



DEADLINESS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY IN WAR 263 

Different Vatican suggestions and schemes were brought 
before certain Nazis and certain Allies at various intervals. 
One of these was finally considered. It consisted in the replace¬ 
ment of Hitler by a top Nazi, not as compromised as the 
Fuehrer. The potential new leader, however, had to possess 
sufficient authority to negotiate with the Allies without bring¬ 
ing about the downfall of the Nazi regime. The man selected 
was a Catholic—a lapsed one, it is true, but, perhaps more 
significant, a former pupil of the Jesuits—Dr. Goebbels, the 
Nazi Propaganda Minister. The idea, concocted at the Vati¬ 
can, after receiving considerable support both in certain Allied 
quarters and in some German circles, ended in nothing. 

Diplomacies are diplomacies because their task is to attempt 
the difficult. Any such attempt has to consider failure. 
Failure, however, being part and parcel of diplomacy, does not 
mean the failure of any of its ultimate goals. Very frequently 
persistent failures have led to success. If this be reckoned as a 
characteristic of secular diplomacy it is certainly the very 
essence of Vatican exertions. The failure of the Vatican’s 
“ Goebbels ” scheme promoted new plans, all of which had 
two things in common: (a) negotiated peace between Ger¬ 
many and the Allies, and ( b ) Nazi-Allied coalition against 
Russia. 

These two goals were sought with as much eagerness by 
Hitler as they were by the Vatican. Before launching his 
offensive against the West (spring, 1940) Hitler, in fact, con¬ 
ducted negotiations with certain Catholic-Fascist forces in 
France with a view, by avoiding the Nazi-French-British clash, 
to turn the Nazi-French-British war machines jointly to the 
East. We shall examine these negotiations in more detail 
presently. 

Hitler was so keen on this plan that he permitted one of the 
most spectacular attempts to make it a concrete reality by 
sending on a mad solo flight one of his chief Nazi lieutenants, 
Rudolf Hess. Hess took a plane, landed in Britain. His 
mission: to contact certain pro-Nazi British elements and 
induce them to persuade the British Government on the pro¬ 
jected negotiated peace, as a preliminary preparation for the 
oncoming Russian campaign. 

For Hitler had already decided to attack Russia. The 



DEADLINESS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY IN WAR 


264 

Vatican had been informed of it all; indeed, it knew the precise 
date of the Nazi attack long before it took place. The infor¬ 
mation had been supplied by Hitler’s Chief of the Secret 
Police, Admiral Canaris. 

Canaris was an enigmatic, sinister figure. He was on inti¬ 
mate relations with Catholic General Franco. Indeed, to a 
great extent. Franco owed the existence of Catholic Spain to 
him. For it was chiefly on the advice of Canaris that Hitler 
and even Mussolini sent the volume of soldiers, guns, and other 
help which eventually turned the scales of the Spanish Civil 
War in Franco’s favour. 2 

Canaris’s original intention was to inform not only the 
Vatican, but also the Allies, and, indeed, even Russia, of 
Hitler’s coming attack. He posted one of his most trusted 
agents at the Vatican, from where his information was 
eventually transmitted to British Intelligence agents, also with 
headquarters at the Vatican. When the Vatican got wind of 
Canaris’s wish to inform Soviet Russia also of the approaching 
invasion, it promptly blackmailed him with the threat that, 
should he notify Soviet Russia of the date of the coming attack, 
the Vatican would inform Hitler of Canaris’s betrayal. 3 

It was thanks to this that no warning was ever passed to the 
Russians, from this reliable source, of Hitler’s most fateful 
decisions. The Vatican, like Hitler, wanted Russia to be taken 
by surprise, surprise in war being accounted almost half of 
total victory. 

But while the Vatican had been the main stumbling-block to 
Soviet Russia’s receiving the warning, it exploited that same 
secret to the utmost with a view to inducing the Allies to come 
to an understanding with Hitler. 

Franco was told about it, with the advice that he side openly 
with Nazi Germany. Franco never gave any definite reply. 
He was willing, but could not do it. The flames of civil war 
were still smouldering under the surface. Spain’s intervention 
on Hitler’s side would have imperilled his Catholic dictator¬ 
ship. However, he offered a compromise, and set out to 
organize a special anti-Bolshevik division, to be sent to the 
Russian front, to fight with Hitler’s army. This became known 
as the Blue Division, composed of 17,000 selected men—most 
of them wearing prints and medallions with the image of Our 



DEADLINESS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY IN WAR 265 

Lady of Fatima. Under pressure from the Vatican, Franco 
went further: 

If the road to Berlin were opened [he dedared in a speech], then not 
merely would one Division of Spaniards [the Blue Division] participate 
in the struggle [the anti-Communist struggle], but one million Spaniards 
would be offered to hdp. 

The U.S.A.—or, rather, President Roosevelt—was also in¬ 
formed. The Vatican’s arch-diplomat, Pacelli, now Pius XII, 
took extra-special precautions, however, that the news should 
not leak out to the Russians via the American State Depart¬ 
ment. He personally saw to it that his Secretary of State, 
Cardinal Maglione, as well as Roosevelt’s personal envoy, 
Myron Taylor, be sworn to the utmost secrecy. The infor¬ 
mation was hardly mentioned in the diplomatic dispatches 
between the Pope and the President, although hints of it were 
put on record in some of the latter’s papers, not to be published 
for twenty-five years. 

Taylor was one of the leading American millionaire indus¬ 
trialists and as much an arch-enemy of Soviet Russia as was the 
Vatican. His disclosure to an extremely carefully selected body 
of American magnates functioning as a kind of invisible 
government in the business world of the U.S.A. helped 
the launching of a tremendous super-isolationist campaign 
throughout the U.S.A. This was meant to help Hitler by 
assuring him of U.S. neutrality, and thus encourage him to 
smash Russia. The campaign, Catholic- and Big-Business- 
inspired, reached its climax between Hitler’s Russian invasion 
ana Pearl Harbour, when the U.S.A. was brought on to 
Russia’s side with a bang. 

Vatican efforts to rally the Allies to Nazi Germany had failed 
once more. Hitler attacked Russia. Within three months he 
was outside Moscow, Leningrad, Stalingrad. But within three 
years his armies were retreating in utter collapse, under the 
relentless blows of the Red Army. 

The advance of the Russians wrought terror in several 
quarters outside the Fascist countries. Besides creating undis¬ 
guised anxiety in the Allied field it caused a veritable panic at 
the Vatican. 

Schemes for a separate peace and for the removal of Hitler 
followed one another, conceived in succession by Germans, by 



266 DEADLINESS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY IN WAR 

the Vatican, by certain elements in Rome. As early as May, 
1942, General Beck, Goerdeler, and others sent emissaries to 
the Allies. One of these was Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who 
went to Stockholm, where he met an Englishman, Dr. Bell, 
Anglican Bishop of Chichester. The task of these emissaries: 
to find out whether the Allies would be prepared, once Hitler 
was overthrown, to deal with a bona-fide German Government 
for a peace settlement. 1 

Less than one month after the overthrow of Mussolini—that 
is, “ in August, 1943,” as was subsequently testified in 1952— 
“ there was already a plan to arrest Hitler, Goering, and 
Himmler in Hitler’s headquarters, known as the Wolfsschanze. 
Everything was ready for action, including the intervention of 
a trustworthy tank division, but the plan failed because the 
three Nazi leaders did not turn up at the Wolfsschanze as had 
been expected.” 5 

In that same year, 1943, German generals planned to get 
rid of Hitler by seizing him during one of his visits to the 
Central Army Group in Russia. 

By that same year the Western Allies had accepted the 
general political strategy conceived at the Vatican, meant to 
forestall the breakdown of Fascist Europe with the setting up 
of authoritarian regimes, with a view to preventing Com¬ 
munism from filling the void left by the fall of the Fascist 
dictatorships. 

It was at this period that it was decided to apply the Vatican’s 
grand scheme to the whole of Europe. Its first application, in 
Italy, had been a great political success. The advance of the 
Russian armies towards Germany made it imperative to repeat 
the same technique with Hitler. The Vatican, the U.S.A., and 
Great Britain set to work and soon contacted certain individuals 
in the military. Intelligence, and political fields in Germany, 
with whom a plan was prepared for the removal of the 
Fuehrer. Many of the plotters acted from self-interest, and 
huge sums of money were paid out by the American Intelli¬ 
gence; but most of them had at heart the salvation of Germany. 
German salvation, for them, meant one thing: the prevention, 
not of the Western, but of the Russian armies, from entering 
German territory. 

In the spring of 1944 Vatican diplomacy became very active. 



DEADLINE3S OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY IN WAR 267 

in that type of discreet but ominous activity which previously 
had always portended something of importance. Observers 
were reminded of the exertions which had preceded the fall of 
Mussolini in the previous year. Key ambassadors, beginning 
with Hitler’s ambassador to the Vatican, followed by the 
British, and by President Roosevelt’s personal envoy, were 
received in private audience by the Pope or by important 
officials of the Vatican State Secretariat with increasing 
frequency. 

Myron Taylor returned specially to Rome, where he became 
the centre of such activities. Hitler’s ambassador at the 
Vatican, the former head of the German Foreign Office, Baron 
von Weisacker, who had schemed for some years for Hitler’s 
removal, became one of the main liaisons. German and 
American prelates also actively encouraged some of the 
plotters. 

The German resisters had been warned to act before the 
Allies invaded the Continent. The reason was obvious. At 
this time, it must be remembered, the Allies had not yet set 
foot in Europe—that is to say, the Western Allies. As Russia 
was advancing towards Germany at an increasing pace from 
the east, the plotters were urged to get rid of Hitler, set up a 
new Government, sue for peace as swiftly as possible, and thus 
prevent the Russian armies from occupying Germany. 

The plotters, spurred by these and other motives, made and 
unmade one scheme after another, all without success. The 
original scheme of seizing and trying Hitler was also finally 
abandoned. Further ideas proved to be either fantastic or 
impossible to execute. The Russian armies, meanwhile, con¬ 
tinued to advance westwards with increasing celerity. Time 
had run short, and nothing had yet been done to get rid of 
Hitler. Then, unexpectedly, when everyone seemed resigned 
to the worst, a plan, dictated by desperation, was put forward: 
quick assassination of the Fuehrer. 

Two men, perhaps more than any others, were responsible 
for this daring project, “Count Stauffenberg and Major Ulrich 
von Oertzen, in collaboration with General Treschow.” 6 

Count von Stauffenberg was Chief of Staff in the General 
Army Office, under Infantry General F. Olbritch, the latter 
being one of the leading conspirators. Von Stauffenberg was 



268 DEADLINESS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY IN WAR 

a pious and staunch Catholic, who had dedicated his life to two 
goals: to the furtherance of the interests of Germany, and those 
of the Catholic Church, and to the promotion of cordial enmity 
against anything resembling Red. 

The plotters had prepared a careful scheme. After the assas¬ 
sination of Hitler they would set up a provisional Government, 
headed by the Christian Democratic Union Party. This would 
have spelt a military dictatorship on the lines of that of 
Marshal Badoglio in Italy. Their first move would be to sue 
for peace, and hence promptly stop the Russian advance. 
Simultaneously, the new Government would see that the revo¬ 
lutionary German elements which might come to the surface 
would be strictly controlled. The military dictatorship would 
be followed by a very centralized Government, and by the 
restoration of the Monarchy. To quote one of the plotters: 
“ In addition, it was felt that there must be one department 
that stood above political discussion, for the character and 
history of the German people are such that leadership cannot 
be built up exclusively from below. To meet this need many 
of us favoured a monarchy.” 6 

“ Leadership cannot be built up exclusively from below ” 
had first been stated by the Popes, as we have already seen. 
The sons of the Church, on this occasion as on so many others, 
were again acting upon this formula. 

The plan of assassination was a desperate one. It entailed 
almost certain death, not only for Hitler, but also for his 
assassins. The group who had agreed on it now hesitated 
about its implementation. 

More days went by, and nothing concrete was done. The 
Vatican grew impatient and sent desperate messages to the 
plotters, urging them to act before it was too late. The Allies 
warned that if nothing was done they would no longer con¬ 
sider any separate peace. It became known that the Russians 
were determined to push westwards, in order to enter Berlin 
before the Western armies got there. 

This prompted some to act. It was decided to kill Hitler 
during one of his usual military conferences. Several volun¬ 
teered for the assassination—e.g. General H. Stieff of the High 
Command, Major Kuhn, and Lieutenant A. von Hagen. 
Owing to one unfavourable event following another, and pos- 



DEADLINESS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY IN WAR 269 

sibly to lack of nerve, the attempt was postponed from week 
to week until finally the plotters gave up all hope. 

The Allied invasion of Europe meanwhile had taken place, 
but, what was still worse, the Russians had followed it with a 
terrific offensive from the east (June 22, 1944) and were 
rapidly advancing towards the German frontiers. Complete 
disaster could, however, still be averted, provided something 
was done without losing one single day. 

At this stage what neither patriotism nor fear of social revo¬ 
lution, political upheaval, or national defeat had had the force 
to do religious conviction and the will of men believing it their 
duty to take any risk, cost them what it may, to defend the 
interest and perhaps even the very existence of their Church 
from its arch-enemy, made them spring to action. 

Count von Stauffenberg, the intimate friend of Cardinal 
von Preysing, Bishop of Berlin, who drew his political inspira¬ 
tion from Utopia, the work of another famous defender of 
Catholicism, St. Thomas More/ stepped forward and decided 
to kill Hitler himself. On July 10, 1944, Count Stauffenberg 
told Dr. Karl Lukaschek, a member of the resistance movement, 
that as the Russian armies were advancing “ no chance of salva¬ 
tion remained ” and that the situation was hopeless. “ Nothing 
is left to me but to murder the tyrant,” he told Lukaschek. 8 

In the words of one of the plotters: 

Ten days later [dating from June 22, the date of the Russian offensive] 
I received a message from Count Stauffenberg. He had decided it was 
impossible to wait any longer. He was going to kill Hitler himself. We 
would be prepared for the assassination to take place any day. 

The offer was even more remarkable as 

in the original planning Stauffenberg had not been considered as a 
possible assassin, since he had only one hand, from which two fingers 
were missing. But he was fearless and able, and one of the few resistance 
men who were in a position to get at Hitler . 6 

July 20, 1944, arrived. Hitler went to his usual conference 
hut. Catholic von Stauffenberg entered the hut, deposited his 
brief-case upon the table, and after a few minutes departed, 
unsuspected. The brief-case was loaded with explosives, timed 
to go off within a few minutes. There followed a terrific 
explosion. Von Stauffenberg, from nearby, had no doubts 
that Hitler and all those who were with him had been killed. 



DEADLINESS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY IN WAR 


270 

He, General Olbritch, and others began to put into execution 
their detailed plan. They began by holding General Fromm, 
Commander of the Home Army, their prisoner. An embryo 
provisional government was set up in Berlin. But the plotters 
had their own way for only a couple of hours. Hitler was still 
alive. Catholic von Stauffenberg and Olbritch were imme¬ 
diately executed. General Beck, Marshal Rommel, and others 
were allowed to commit suicide, and 4,980 men and women 
were executed. It was a massacre in comparison with which 
that of 1934, when Hitler himself had killed some of his closest 
associates, seemed child’s play. 

The plan which had worked so well in Italy had completely 
miscarried in Germany. 

The Vatican issued swift orders to the German hierarchy to 
side with the surviving and revengeful Fuehrer. Thanks¬ 
givings were offered in German churches. Cardinal Faul- 
haber 9 sent his own and his bishops’ congratulations to Hitler 
on his “ mir aculous ” escape. A solemn Te Deum was sung 
in Munich Cathedral, after which the Vatican remained 
wholly mute. But then, as the Red armies were rolling 
towards Berlin, while the Pope once more began his lamenta¬ 
tions, Vatican diplomacy set feverishly to work in a frantic 
effort to side with the victorious Allies. 

In the spring of 1945 the Red armies rushed towards Berlin, 
the Western Allies occupied the towns of Western Germany. 
In April and May Hitler’s armies collapsed, and on May 7 
Germany surrendered unconditionally. Thus ended Nazi 
Germany and the Second World War in Europe. ^ 


But if the war had terminated for Europe, it had not ended 
for Vatican diplomacy. For the fall of Nazi Germany had 
not spelt either the partial or even less the total failure of its 
global anti-Communist crusade. The tumbling of the Nazis 
had been the closing of one chapter, the dawning of peace the 
beginning of a new one. 

Within a short period, in fact, Soviet Russia had already 
replaced Nazi Germany as the main enemy of the West. And 
the anti-Communist Catholic hate campaign, hallowed by new 
allies and promoted by up-to-date tactics to suit the trans- 



DEADLINESS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY IN WAR 2 7 1 

formed political landscape, soon yielded ominous results. Nazi 
criminals were released en masse throughout the French-, 
British-, and, above all, American-occupied territory; the great 
industrialists, generals, and armament-barons were reinstated 
to their former positions; Krupp, from a war-criminars cell, 
went straight to his Krupp plant, to resume cannon manufac¬ 
ture (1951)* While this was taking place a new German 
Government came to the fore in Western Germany, under the 
protection of the anti-Russian Allied Trinity, while in Eastern 
Germany another saw the light under the auspices of Soviet 
Russia. And, in no time, defeated Germany, like Europe, had 
split into two hostile camps. 

The mobilization of two-thirds of Germany against Russia 
had been accomplished by the cunning and the foresight of 
Vatican diplomacy. Western Germany’s alignment with the 
Western Powers, in fact, could justly be accounted its most 
successful master-stroke since the fall of Hitler. The adoption 
of its new diplomatic-political strategy could not have better 
justified itself than by the swift recruiting of a prostrated Ger¬ 
many on the side of those nations who had so recently defeated 
her. 

The birth and nurturing of the first Western German 
Government had been rendered possible by the adoption of a 
policy which had already proved extremely successful in 
another country—namely, in Italy. There the Vatican had 
managed, not only to set up a friendly government, but to 
install an administration wholly docile to its social and political 
bidding. Although the repetition of such a feat in a partly 
Protestant land was fraught with difficulties, yet the Vatican, 
thanks once more to its unparalleled diplomatic skill, not to 
mention its alliance with the U.S.A., managed to install, not 
only a friendly government in Western Germany, but a govern¬ 
ment, or rather the head of a government, who was as docile 
to its political demands as was the Catholic Premier of Italy- 
daily Mass-goer, daily Communion-taker, Chancellor Dr. 
Konrad Adenauer (autumn, 1949). 

The installation of one of the Vatican’s pet political creatures 
in a rapidly emerging Germany was indicative, perhaps more 
than any other measure taken since Germany’s defeat, of the 
shape of things to come. 



DEADLINESS OF VATICAN DIPLOMACY IN WAR 


272 


In the domestic field one of the most sinister symptoms was 
the emergence of General Otto Remer, as already mentioned 
in Chapter 12, the man who had smashed the 1944 anti-Hitler 
plot and who, after having openly promoted a neo-Nazi move¬ 
ment, sent scores of neo-Nazi deputies to Parliament (1950-1-2). 

In the foreign field the new Germany was ever more blatantly 
committed to the foreign policy of the Western Powers, which 
tied her with ever-multiplying war ties, “ to save Christian 
civilization from the peril looming from the East.” 

These words were pretty familiar. They had been chanted 
for so many fateful years by the raucous voice of the now dead 
Fuehrer, plunging, as they had done, all Germans into the 
abyss of the Second World War. 

In spite of so recent an example, Hitler’s incantation, after 
the installation of the Western German Government, was 
chanted once more to the bewildered German masses. The 


chant was repeated by that most fanatical devotee of Our Lady 
of Fatima, Catholic Adenauer, who, in obedience to the 


bidding of his Church, had had not the slightest compunction 
in committing a still mutilated and occupied Germany to a 
policy which would lead the German people once again into 
a new era of disasters. 


It was thus that, within a brief period, Germany, although 
still bleeding and divided, faced the astonished peoples of 
Europe as an overhauled anti-Communist war-machine, wholly 
subservient to the U.S.A. and the Vatican, determined to use 
Germany’s vast military potential and preparing to hurl her 
once more into the vast expanses of the Russian plains, where 
the armies of Hitler had faltered with such ignominy only a 
few years before. 

The two world massacres, which had brought such unfor¬ 
gettable horrors and devastation to German cities, had not yet 
been enough. Another mighty conflict had begun to head 
towards a still-prostrated Germany from the swiftly darkening 
skies of Europe, of the Americas, of Asia, and of Soviet Russia. 
Malignant, perverse forces, this time outside Germany, had 
decreed that the German masses be sacrificed once more to the 
insatiable gods of war. Among these there loomed pro min ent 
the most malignant of all the evil genii of modern Germany: 
the Vatican. 



15 


VATICAN’S TOTAL WAR AGAINST 
HOSTILE STATES 


I N ALL THE INSTANCES GIVEN SO EAR, THE 
Vatican, to reach certain specific goals, 
has confined itself to employing re¬ 
ligious, political, and diplomatic means. 

There are cases, however, when it can and does advocate 
open, armed rebellion. That usually happens when it finds 
itself face to face with a hostile government with which it 
cannot reach a tacit modus vivendi or which, having banned 
the Catholic Church, tries to enforce to the letter all its hostile 
laws. In such cases a real war, giving no quarter and usually 
ending in bloodshed, is waged. 

War cannot break out in every type of State. It is possible 
only when the State concerned is framed on a democratic basis 
or, at least, allows its citizens a certain amount of liberty. For 
were it to be fought under a dictatorship, the Catholic Church 
would not be allowed to gather forces of any kind that might 
endanger the existence of the government (cf. the Orthodox 
Church in Soviet Russia after the Revolution). 

Owing to the very nature of the civil constitution of a demo¬ 
cratic State, each citizen or body of citizens can oppose the 
government by legal means. The Catholic Church—and, for 
that matter, any other Party—can take full advantage of this 

273 



274 Vatican’s total war against hostile states 

privilege to carry out its plans of opposition and thereby em¬ 
barrass the government, to undermine its power, to organize 
itself so that it can disregard all the laws it wishes. As far as 
Catholic resistance is limited to legal means it is free to act in 
any way desired. Should it, however, purposely trespass into 
illegality, then even a democratic government is compelled to 
take certain precautionary as well as punitive measures to 
restrain those who contravene its laws. 

When that occurs, such a government is compelled to punish 
any Catholic who has obeyed his spiritual leader’s injunctions 
—that is, the hierarchy, the most active members of the laity, 
and all those Catholic organizations which by their actions have 
placed themselves outside the law. 

As, however, no government is capable of arresting, fining, 
and punishing individually a great portion of the people it 
governs, it is bound to take stricter measures against the 
religious and political leaders of Catholicism, thus creating 
fresh cause for bitterness and resentment. 

With the intensification of the struggle, the Catholic Church 
—which in the meantime may have made underground pre¬ 
parations for open revolt—might decide that the moment to 
overthrow the government by force has come, and hence can 
ask all Catholics to take up arms. 

When the situation has reached this stage the Church will 
boldly declare that Catholics are bound to disregard the laws 
of the State and, besides, that it is their duty to fight it by every 
means. Every means, including assassination. This many 
will call exaggeration. But instances when meek sons of the 
Church murdered their opponents because these were hostile 
to the Church or to the interests of the Vatican are written in 
blood in many pages of history. To be sure, the Catholic 
Church has disclaimed any encouragement of or even associa¬ 
tion with them. How could she?—the seat of morality! 
However, to promote them via the secretive maze of reli¬ 
gious, diplomatic, political emotionalism is indeed another 
thing. 

Assassinations are not obsolete intimidation of past romantic 
Catholic sagas. They can be and are still used. 

President Lincoln was killed by a Catholic. Mere coinci¬ 
dence?We shall see presently tEat it may have been anything 


Vatican's total war against hostile states 


275 

but coincidence. As there are no proofs however, the fact that 
a Protestant head of a Protestant land was murdered by a 
member of a tiny Catholic minority could have been a true 
freak of history. It was not a historical freak when another 
Catholic, a Belgian, in 1875 wrote a letter to the Archbishop of 
Paris in which he offered to murder the German Protestant 
Chancellor, Bismarck, because of the anti-Catholic laws which 
he had passed in Germany, 1 or when a third Catholic attempted 
to dispose of Bismarck by way of assassination. This last 
would-be murderer admitted that he wanted to kill the Iron 
Chancellor because Bismarck was fighting the Catholic Church 
with his Kultur Kampf. 

In Mexico, in 1927, the President was assassinated the day 
after he declared that he would enforce the Mexican Constitu¬ 
tion of Separation of Church and State. 

In 1930, in Malta, as we have already seen, after the head of 
the Maltese Government, Lord Strickland, had opposed the 
Maltese hierarchy—and the Vatican—on the question of 
Church and State, the Maltese archbishop inflamed Catholic 
fanaticism to such a pitch that a few days later (June, 1930) an 
attempt was made on Lord Strickland’s life. 

In France Catholics planned the killing of King Alexander 
of Yugoslavia and of Barthou, the French Foreign Minister, in 
1934. The reason: King Alexander represented Orthodox 
Serbia, which was subjugating Catholic Croatia and “ persecut¬ 
ing the Catholic Church.” 2 

In Nazi Germany, as we have already noticed, a Catholic 
tried to assassinate Hitler—now a useless dictator as far as the 
Catholic Church was concerned—and although the motives 
which prompted the attempt were mostly of a political nature, 
basically the religious element was the determining factor 
which prompted Count Stauffenberg to attempt to destroy 
the Fuehrer. 

In Italy, during the most fateful general election of 1948, a 
Catholic tried to assassinate Togliatti, the leader of the Italian 
Communists, wounding him so badly that he lay between life 
and death for several weeks. 

In Belgium, after the Communist leader had opposed the 
return of Catholic King Leopold and had spoken against his 
Catholic son’s succeeding him (August 18,1950), two Catholics 



276 Vatican’s total war against hostile states 

knocked at his door, and when the Communist Deputy opened 
it he was promptly shot dead. 

The list could be prolonged. 

The Catholic Church does not stop at inciting her members 
to individual assassinations. She will incite them to communal 
bloodshed by inspiring and promoting bodies of volunteers to 
fight “ the enemies of the Church.” 

In the first half of the last century she promoted the San- 
fedisti, as already mentioned, to kill and destroy the Liberals. 
In 1870 she organized an international army of volunteers, 
ready to protect, defend, and fight for the Pope after the 
Liberal Government of Italy took over Rome and the Papal 
State. 

In Mexico she encouraged volunteers to fight the enemies of 
the Church—that is to say, to fight the legal Mexican Govern¬ 
ment. 

In Spain, from 1936 to 1939, she organized “ Catholic 
volunteers,” from practically every country, to fight against 
the Republican Government, “ riddled with the enemies of the 
Church.” 

During the Second World War she organized special 
Catholic battalions, divisions, or even whole armies, to fight 
with Hitler against Communist Russia: Franco’s Blue 
Division, Leon Degrelle’s Catholic volunteers in Belgium; the 
Catholic Slovak Army in Slovakia; the Catholic Army, the 
Ustashi in Yugoslavia, and many others. 

Being ready to resort to physical violence, including individ¬ 
ual and mass-killing, therefore, the Catholic Church, if and 
when she has decided to wage war upon any given hostile 
gover nm ent, will mobilize all her members, “as an army 
drawn up in battle array,” as Pope Leo XIII declared. 3 

Overnight all good Catholics, consequently, can and will be 
transformed into partisans of the Church and bitter foes' of the 
State, and act accordingly. Crowds without a leader are 
powerless. So leaders will spring up, usually in the person of 
pro min ent banished Catholic politicians, generals, or even 
priests, whose task is to lead their followers against the govern¬ 
ment. The government, of course, must defend itself, and 
civil war is started. The result is bloodshed; the country is 
torn asunder and atrocities are committed by both sides. 



Vatican's total war against hostile states 277 

Fanatical individuals, urged by either political or religious 
zeal, attempt to assassinate the head of a Godless government 
or the Catholic leaders before or after open revolt has started, 
and increasingly bitter feeling will induce both sides to fight 
to the end, but their fight will not be confined to themselves. 

Complications will arise, not only within the boundaries of 
the country concerned, but outside them. Neighbouring States 
will become involved for either religious or political reasons. 
Result: the original domestic struggle will assume an inter¬ 
national character and affect more governments. 

The neighbouring States thus affected need not of necessity 
be Catholic. They may be Protestant, or even entirely indif¬ 
ferent to religious problems. 

ft is obvious that when such a neighbouring State is Catholic, 
it is much easier for the Church to order the population to exert 
pressure on the government to urge it to intervene and put an 
end to the persecution across its borders. 

Should the neighbouring State be Protestant, however, the 
Catholic Church will still be in a position to put pressure on a 
Protestant government. This is mostly for the following 
reason: whereas a country may officially be wholly Catholic 
(e.g. Franco’s Spain), no country is wholly Protestant. A 
nominally Protestant country, in the religious sense, is divided 
and subdivided into numerous denominations which, to five 
freely, have of necessity evolved religious toleration, by which 
any religion can flourish, including the Catholic. 

This means that in any given Protestant country the Vatican 
has at its disposal usually an extremely zealous minority. This 
minority is ready to start a campaign to influence the non- 
Catholic strata of the population by appealing to its sentiment 
regarding religious liberty. By arousing in them hatred of a 
tyranny that persecutes the Church, a Protestant government 
may eventually be influenced to act. 

Although at first this seems far-fetched, it is possible and 
has actually happened. It is not difficult to understand how 
it can be brought about if we remember that a government 
(assuming it is a democratic one) cannot forget that its 
re-election is dependent upon a majority of votes. This con¬ 
sideration will force it to try to please as many electors as 
possible. It is rare for any administration to obtain an over- 



278 Vatican’s total war against hostile states 

whelming majority. Therefore, minorities are made to exer¬ 
cise more weight than they would otherwise have, at times 
becoming the determining factor of electoral victories or 
defeats. 

A wise administration, therefore, will be very careful to 
meet the demands of its Catholic groups—which often are 
disproportionately powerful in relation to their numerical 
strength. The most striking instance: the Catholic pressure 
group in the U.S.A., where, although less than one-fifth of 
the total population, it exerts a political influence out of all 
proportion to its number. 

Obviously, factors which are very little or only distantly 
related to the religious problem can affect the issue. This, 
however, is no hindrance to a determined Catholic minority, 
always ready to welcome social, economic, or political allies. 

Sometimes this is done: (a) by striking a bargain with 
nationalist elements desirous of getting rid of an alien rule; 
(b) by for ming a partnership with big industrial or financial 
concerns desirous of preserving or attaining economic. or 
political gains in a neighbouring country; (c) by intervening 
wi thin the sovereign territory of a State supposedly persecuting 
religion, by screening such intervention with non-religious 
issues and attempting the destruction of its legitimate govern¬ 
ment by means of war. 

Whichever the case, the Catholic Church can endanger not 
only the stability and existence of any given State, but also 
that of neighbouring nations, of a whole hemisphere, and in 
fact of the entire world. 

Statements of this nature may, in addition to being exagger¬ 
ated, seem to be lacking in foundation—indeed, to be improb¬ 
able and even impossible. Yet instances of this kind have 
occurred time and again. We shall confine ourselves to some 
typical contemporary cases with a bearing upon some of the 
situations quoted above. 


Since the early loss of her independence the foremost dream 
of Ireland was national freedom. The wish to be free is as 
natural to any proud race as the breathing of the air of their 
country. Consequently, it was logical that when the oppor- 



Vatican's total war against hostile states 


279 


tunity came the Irish should take up arms and revolt against 
the ruling power, England. 

The question of Irish independence was intimately con¬ 
nected with several historical and racial problems. It was also 
a very important religious one. That is to say, it was—even if 
never too openly acknowledged as such—a fight between 
Catholic Ireland and Protestant England which resulted in 
the local resumption of hostilities between the Catholic Church 
and her old foe, Protestantism. 

In the eyes of the Catholic Church Protestantism basically is 
still as hated an enemy as it was at its inception. Although 
Catholic struggles against it have been relegated to the back¬ 
ground by time, history, and the rise of even more dangerous 
enemies, the Catholic Church has never avoided opposing it 
whenever the occasion arises. Her opposition can take the 
form of subtle, almost undetected, enmity, or can explode into 
open violence screened behind the apparel of nationalism— 
racial claims and the like—depending on the circumstances. 

Ireland gave a striking demonstration of this, and indeed of 
the ominous fact that whenever the Catholic Church is given 
the opportunity to strike a blow against Protestantism, via 
individuals or nations practising it, she will not hesitate to do 
so. 


From the Reformation and until this very day, in the eyes 
of the Vatican, Ireland has been the northernmost outpost of 
Catholicism, situated at the very gates—or, rather, inside the 
gates—of the Protestant Anglo-Saxon world. In view of this, 
therefore, Ireland since the Reformation assumed a paramount 
significance which, in the grand strategy of the Vatican, has 
not by any means diminished since the gaining of her 
independence. 

Vatican exertions directed at helping the Irish to acquire 
their freedom had as their ultimate aim the creation of a 
Catholic State wholly subservient to the Church; a goal which 
was successfully achieved, as the case of the hierarchy and the 
mother and child scheme—of 1950—so strikingly demonstrated. 

To believe that the Vatican always had at heart the freedom 
of Ireland and of the Irish people for their own sakes, how¬ 
ever, would be to believe that myth is objective history. The 
Vatican co-operated with Irish revolutionaries in the first two 



280 Vatican’s total war against hostile states 

decades of our century simply because it suited the Vatican to 
have a free Ireland. Had Vatican interests run contrary to 
Ireland’s desire for independence, the Vatican would not have 
had the slightest hesitation in co-operating with her enemies or 
oppressors so as to keep the Irish in servitude. 

Rash accusations ? Facts! 

At one time in the dim past of the Middle Ages it was to 
the Vatican’s advantage to strike some kind of political bargain 
with England, for reasons which are too numerous to recount 
here. We-have already seen of what the bargain consisted. 
The Vatican (and the fact that an English Pope was then 
sitting on the throne of St. Peter, the first and last Englishman 
to be elected Pope, is no valid excuse) sold independent Ireland 
to the English king. It was as simple as that. Consequently, 
all the subsequent sufferings, fighting, and bloodshed in 
occupied Ireland were caused originally by the action of the 
Catholic Church. 

As long as it suited her, an Ireland in servitude was looked 
upon as the will of Divine Providence which had decreed the 
punishment of the wicked Irish for their sins and to help 
England to squeeze blood and money from them, and, last 
but not least, to enable the Popes to press England into political 
alliances favourable to them. As long as the enslaved Irish 
could be exploited by England and Rome simultaneously all 
was well, and the question of Irish freedom was as unknown 
to the Vatican as the existence of the still-undiscovered 
Americas. 

When the two partners quarrelled, things changed. Eng¬ 
land not only rejected the Vatican’s religious and political 
claims of supremacy over the British Isles but repudiated the 
Catholic Church altogether and set up her own brand of 
Chris tiani ty. The English king, with his historic procession 
of wives (some of whom he had nonchalantly murdered), who 
was endowed with maimers that would have put to shame the 
rudest butcher of the realm, became the head of the new 
English Church. Further, while creating a precedent with 
regard to later centuries, he despoiled the Catholic Church of 
her immense riches, pocketed most of them himself, and told 
the Vatican that England was for the English and not for the 
Popes. 



Vatican's total war against hostile states 


281 


The slogan 4 England for the English 55 produced a start¬ 
ling effect in Rome. The Vatican suddenly focused attention 
upon Ireland. 

Ireland was Catholic. The Irish had always been very 
generous with Peter’s Pence. Ireland, therefore, had to be 
saved from the rapacity of Protestant England. It had to be 
freed. The slogan 44 Ireland for the Irish ” echoed hollowly 
in the Vatican’s corridors and down the centuries until 1917. 
Not uninterruptedly, to be sure. There were times—and 
these coincided always with Catholics having installed them¬ 
selves once more in England, even if for short but hopeful 
periods—when the Vatican was struck with amnesia and 
wholly forgot the Irish slogan. 

It was only when, finally, English Protestantism became 
permanently established that 44 Ireland for the Irish ” became 
a permanent feature of Vatican diplomacy. 

Not that the Vatican gave any effective help to Irish patriots 
at any time, except prior to and during the First World War, 
when Irish patriots by helping themselves had brought their 
dreams near completion. Why, as recently as the last century, 
the Vatican on more than one occasion attempted to strike 
secret bargains with Protestant England, to the detriment of 
Irish liberty, in its effort to help Catholics to re-emerge into the 
English social and political fabric, 44 with a bang.” 

The latter attempt having been partially successful, Vatican 
diplomacy favoured Ireland and blessed—although still with 
reservation—the Irish bid for independence. Even at this stage, 
however, the Vatican, while encouraging the Irish to rebel, 
was simultaneously betraying them by secretly negotiating 
with England. 

It was conducting a most ambiguous policy with a view to 
cheating both and making ready to side with the winner, 
regardless of the latter’s identity. 

That this was the Vatican’s policy prior to the completion 
of Irish independence was asserted by Lloyd George, then 
Prime Minister of Great Britain. 

At this stage it was impossible to reach any satisfactory 
settlement of the Irish question, Lloyd George repeatedly 
declared, owing chiefly to the Irish clergy. His efforts at 
negotiation were either rejected or, if initially successful, 



282 


Vatican’s total war against hostile states 


ultimately ended in failure. At long last the British Govern¬ 
ment, having decided to get at the real source of inspiration 
of such policy, made direct approaches to the Vatican. Discus¬ 
sions were begun directly with the Roman Curia; Cardinal 
Gasquet became one of the principal negotiators; the Irish 
hierarchy were given a definite fine on their attitude in con¬ 
nexion with the timing, methods, and nature of the Irish 
resistance and the British counter-resistance. 

Even so the problem, Lloyd George had again to admit, was 
never solved, because the Vatican, with its usual diplomatic 
duplicity, was playing a double game—with both Ireland and 
England—sometimes pretending to work for a compromise 
and for moderation, at others siding with Britain while very 
often encouraging to its utmost Catholic resistance when¬ 
ever England did not comply with certain Vatican 
proposals. 

The length to which Vatican duplicity went can be judged 
by the fact that, while the Vatican was secretly encouraging 
the Irish priests, who at one ti me had become the very back¬ 
bone of Sinn Fein, at the same time it was promising the 
British its full co-operation in restraining the Irish hierarchy 
from helping the Irish rebels. This, it should be noticed, was 
being done while, ironically enough, Protestant Britain went 
to no end of trouble and, as we have already seen, by ignoring 
many constitutional difficulties, managed to break a long 
tradition and send an official envoy to the Vatican. 

The Vatican’s assurances to Protestant England at this stage 
were given mostly to encourage her to send an ambassador to 
the Holy See, knowing very well that once a precedent had 
been established the rest would follow. 

Vatican promises to restrain the Irish hierarchy were typical 
Vatican lies, the Vatican knowing well that it was not going 
to keep them if the Irish rebellion, which it was helping to 
foment, proved successful. That this was its set policy was 
proved by the fact that it fostered Irish rebellion before the 
First World War. So much so, that at the outbreak of the 
War, in 1914, the Irish College in Rome had already become a 
hotbed of plotting and counter-plotting; a distributing depot 
for revolutionary literature; and, last but not least, an 
important centre of intelligence between Ireland, the Vatican, 



Vatican's total war against hostile states 283 

various countries of the British Empire, and the Irish 
nationalists. 

The role played by the Vatican from this period onwards 
was not confined to rousing patriotic plus religious zeal among 
the clergy and the people in Irish towns. It became diplomatic, 
political, and even military co-operation, blessed by the highest 
authority of the Vatican—the Pope; co-operation which was 
eventually to lead to the actual outbreak of the rebellion. 

After the creation of the Irish Free State the Vatican threw 
off the mask and, while not disclosing the real role it played, 
it boasted of having greatly helped the success of the Irish 
resistance by outwitting the British. Indeed, it went so far as 
to declare that without its encouragement—and, above all, 
without the diplomatic negotiations carried out between the 
Vatican and the British Government, which served only to keep 
the British at bay—the Irish Free State probably would have 
remained but a dream. 

For once the Vatican was boasting of something that was 
true. But it did not boast of the whole truth. 

It did not boast of the whole truth for one very good reason: 
its duplicity and lack of principle in the whole affair had been 
of such a nature as to make it very difficult for English 
Catholics to stomach. Indeed, the disclosure of its conduct 
would have created the gravest embarrassment at the British 
Foreign Office; not to mention the moral discredit into which 
Vatican diplomacy would have sunk in the eyes of the 
English, Irish, and indeed Catholics the world over had they 
known the whole truth. 

The Vatican’s co-operation with the Irish nationalists, at a 
time when it was giving the most direct assurances of 
neutrality to the British—which, in fact, it had been giving 
throughout—was of such a character that three weeks before 
the actual insurrection took place the Irish Republican Pro¬ 
visional Government judged it necessary to send a special 
secret envoy to the Pope to disclose to the Holy Father the 
actual plan, place, and date of the revolt. 

Vatican participation in the Easter Rebellion remained a 
close secret for almost two decades. Great Britain, however, 
having had more than one hint of the lengths to which it had 
gone, repeatedly sent unofficial protests to Rome asking for an 



284 Vatican’s total war against hostile states 

explanation, urging the Vatican either to confirm the story or 
to deny it, with all the authority at its disposal, as such 
“ unheard-of insinuations ” were causing serious bad feeling 
and could create the gravest complications between the Holy 
See and the British Government; not to mention the damage 
they were doing to the completion of Catholic emancipation 
in England itself. 

The Irish hierarchy vehemently denied all “ those recurrent 
rumours,” declaring that these were nothing but the base 
insinuations of anti-Catholic forces, the fabrications of the 
enemies of the Church, and the obvious efforts of Protestant 
England to smear the name of the Catholic Church. The 
Vatican confirmed, with official and semi-official statements, 
what the Irish hierarchy said, and for many years the matter 
remained like that. 

However, nations, like women, cannot keep secrets for 
ever. And one day some time in 1933 an Irishman, a devout 
Catholic but not wholly versed in the intricacies and long- 
range schemes of the Vatican, believing that he was doing a 
good turn to his Church, disclosed the whole truth by publish¬ 
ing the actual facts in the Irish Press. 

The writer had some qualifications for dealing with the 
subject: he was none other than one of the main revolutionary 
leaders, the Irish Prime Minister, De Valera. 4 

Both the Irish hierarchy and the Vatican were taken by 
surprise, but again vehemently denied that any secret envoy 
had ever been sent to the Vatican, still less that he had been 
received by the Pope. The denials, however, this time proved 
false. For now the envoy himself came to the fore, to confirm 
the truth. The following is what Count Plunkett, the secret 
Irish envoy, had to say. 

There I was received by His Holiness; for nigh two hours we dis¬ 
cussed fully the coming struggle for Irish Independence. The Pope was 
much moved when I disclosed the fact that the date for the rising was 
fixed, and the reasons for that decision. . . . Then the Pope conferred 
His Apostolic Benediction on the men who were facing death for 
Ireland’s liberty. . . . Back in Dublin on Good Friday, 1916, I sent in 
my report of the results of my mission to the Provisional Government. 

In the General Post Office, when the fight began, I saw again the 
portion of that paper relating to my audience with His Holiness in 1916. 

G. N. Count Plunkett, 

Ascension Thursday, 1933. 4 



Vatican's total war against hostile states 285 

No one will ever dispute the claims of Ireland, or of any 
people, to independence. The episodes just described, how¬ 
ever, are striking illustrations that the Vatican never hesitates 
to encourage revolutionary activities, to plot with one country 
to the disadvantage of another, to plunge both into a state of 
war, to transform them into religious-political satellites, pro¬ 
vided the results further its religious or political interests. 

Yet the fact that all the centuries of Irish suffering were 
partially due to the Church, after one of her Popes (because at 
that period it suited the Vatican) did not hesitate to sell Ireland 
to an English king, had better be remembered, lest her 
regained freedom be used again, not to the advantage of the 
Irish nation, but to the advantage of a spiritual master who, 
should it serve his purpose, would not hesitate to sell once 
more Ireland’s freedom, as he had done already, so unscrupu¬ 
lously, in the past. 


The Irish case had endangered only two countries; but there 
have been instances when the activities of the Vatican have 
imperilled the peace of a whole hemisphere—e.g. the civil 
war in Mexico. 

In the middle of the decade immediately following the first 
world conflict (1926) President Calles, after much procrastina¬ 
tion, enforced the Carranza Constitution which had been 
adopted as far back as 1917. By so doing he struck at the two 
most powerful elements which, up to then, had dominated the 
life of the nation: the Catholic Church, the wealthiest single 
institution in the land, and the big American Oil Corporations, 
which owned more of Mexico’s productive industry than did 
the entire Mexican population. 5 

The enforcement of the Constitution meant, for the former, 
the radical separation of Church and State, limitation of absurd 
religious privileges, withdrawal of the Catholic quasi-monopoly 
of education, reduction of ecclesiastical wealth; for the latter, 
expropriation and public ownership of the Mexican subsoil. 

The Vatican unhesitatingly declared an all-out war on the 
Mexican Government. 

The Mexican hierarchy received precise instructions for the 
mobilization of the entire religious and political machinery of 



286 Vatican’s total war against hostile states 

the Church. From all the pulpits, from all the Catholic Press, 
from pastoral letters, the faithful were urged to disobey the 
State, to boycott its laws, to arm and march against the 
Government. Overnight the whole of Mexico was racked by 
demonstrations and counter-demonstrations. Acts of violence, 
riots, and political murders occurred everywhere with such 
frequency that they semi-paralysed the life of the country. 

At such mass mobilization the President issued repeated 
warnings that, unless the Mexican hierarchy ceased to foment 
unrest, stronger measures would be taken. His warning fell 
on deaf ears. In July four rioting Catholics were killed by 
Government troops. To the Mexican bishops that was the 
signal for the revolt. The faithful were organized in armed 
battalions on a nation-wide scale. At the New Year, to the 
cry of “ Viva Cristo Reyl ” (“ Long live Christ the King! ”) 
they banded under the leadership of the head of the League 
of Catholic Youth, Capistran Garza, who, by direct orders 
from the Vatican, at long last had raised the standard of 
insurrection. The Mexican bishops proclaimed him “Pro¬ 
visional President,” and General Arteaga their military leader. 

The revolt spread. Soon the Catholic Church claimed 
eleven States on her side; the Government, only five. Calles 
arrested Archbishop Ruiz y Flores. The Pope denounced the 
arrest as a persecution of religion, a crime against freedom, 
called for prayers throughout the world, and initiated a global 
hate-campaign against Mexico. 

Simultaneously His Holiness began to spin a web of 
diplomatic activity in many countries, especially in Latin- 
Am erica and the U.S.A., with a view to having Mexico 
ostracized abroad. We shall refer only to the part this played 
in the U.S.A.—a Protestant nation—as another concrete proof 
of how the Catholic Church can influence the policy of 
a non-Catholic country. This was done Vatican-fashion— 
namely, via the mobilization of the religious machinery of 
another powerful hierarchy. The Vatican’s Secretary of State 
issued detailed instructions to the American hierarchy on the 
policy to be followed concerning the Mexican civil war. 
Result: almost overnight the U.S.A. began to be flooded by 
Catholic propaganda urging a holy war against the Mexican 
neighbour. 



Vatican's total war against hostile states 287 

American Catholic newspapers, American Catholic poli¬ 
ticians, American Catholic bishops openly advocated direct 
American intervention in Mexico. American Catholic exer¬ 
tions found formidable allies in the Oil Corporations which— 
the designs of Catholic Providence are truly inscrutable—at 
this juncture had miraculously become deeply concerned with 
the religious rights of the Catholic Church. The U.S.A. must 
intervene to stop such ghastly religious persecutions, they said. 
How could the U.S.A. permit the Mexican Government to 
slaughter Catholic priests? The persecution was the work of 
the Third International. “ Calles is an Atheist,” chorused the 
American bishops, “a diabolical enemy of Christianity.” 
“He is the anti-Christ!” shouted speakers of the Knights of 
Columbus, that Catholic American organization of the 
thousand-and-one holy scapulars and even holier tin medals. 
They passed a most Christian resolution urging the State 
Department to lift its embargo on arms and to wage war upon 
the Mexican Government. The American hierarchy proved 
to be no less Christian and it simultaneously began to exert a 
tremendous pressure on the State Department, with a view 
to making the U.S.A. intervene on the ground that “the 
persecution of Calles is without parallel since the days of Nero 
and Diocletian.” 

Not the whole of the U.S.A., however, was so easily deceived 
by American Catholicism’s warmongering. The volume of 
protest against the Catholic Church’s call for war soon created 
a reaction which recoiled upon American Catholics themselves. 
The Catholic bishops, with that duplicity which is a Catholic 
characteristic everywhere, realizing how they had gone too far, 
issued a pastoral letter explaining that “ what we have written 
is no call on the faithful here or elsewhere to purely human 
action ... or to reach those who possess political power any¬ 
where on earth, and least of all in our own country, to the end 
that they should intervene with armed force in the internal 
affairs of Mexico for the protection of the Catholic Church.” 
We did not mean that, they repeated. What we meant was to 
warn America that “ Christian civilization ” was in danger. 
A slogan repeated twenty years later by Mussolini and Hitler, 
and thirty years later by the Vatican and the U.S.A., to justify 
their parallel preparation for war against Soviet Russia. “ Our 



288 Vatican’s total war against hostile states 

duty is done when we sound a warning to Christian civiliza¬ 
tion that its foundations are again being attacked and under¬ 
mined,” they said. “ For the rest, God will bring His will to 
pass in His own good time and in His own good way.” 

The last sentence was not a pious, rhetorical embellishment 
of the message. Their lordships, the American bishops, had 
previously been informed that certain high American political 
and financial interests had been successful in persuading good 
American personages whose main concern—after the safety of 
their oil wells—was, curiously enough, also the safety of 
Christian ideals, to take certain concrete steps to see that the 
Mexican Neros be stopped. 

In April, 1927, the United States War Department concen¬ 
trated practically all its aircraft in Texas, for “ manoeuvres.” 
War correspondents packed up and followed the Army. War 
over the border was imminent. The American hierarchy 
urged American Catholics to recite the rosary, so that the 
intentions of the Holy Father and, incidentally, of Senator 
Fall should be heard with approval by God. 

The rosarian chanting must have echoed in the celestial 
vaults somewhat belatedly for, in the meantime, across the 
frontiers the Catholic revolt had been crushed and, although in 
the mountains Catholic rebels continued their civil war, most 
of the population had begun to return to their ordinary daily 
tasks. 

The U.S.A. sent an ambassador to Mexico with the mission 
of settling- the religious struggle, prior even to settling the 
question of Mexican oil. But before that could be accomplished 
the Catholic Church, who wanted at all costs to control Mexico, 
set on foot a new plan. This was put into operation almost 
immediately after General Alvaro Obregon was elected as the 
Mexican President on July 1, 1928. On the 16th Obregon 
openly blamed the Catholic Church for the civil war and stated 
that he would carry out the policy of the previous President— 
namely, he would enforce the Mexican Constitution. The 
following day he was promptly assassinated by a Catholic. 

Ex-President Calles went to interview the assassin in person, 
who, in answer to the question, “ Who instigated you to take 
the President’s fife? ” declared: “ Christ, our Lord. In order 
that religion may prevail in Mexico.” 



Vatican’s total war against hostile states 289 

The American Press, like most of the world Press, declared 
the report false. The Vatican stated authoritatively that Calles 
was unable to speak the truth because no Atheist knew what 
the truth was. The world should, instead, believe the Mexican 
hierarchy and, last but not least, the Holy Father. Calles and 
his devilish supporters were lying. If it were not so, why did 
the Mexican Government not let American and Catholic 
journalists interview the accused? The Mexican Government 
obliged, and invited as many American Press representatives 
as were willing to interview the murderer. They had a two 
hours’ talk with him. The assassin not only repeated what he 
told Calles but declared once more: “I killed General 
Obregon because I believed he was the instigator of the 
persecution of the Catholic Church.” 

At the trial Toral (the assassin) confessed that the Mother 
Superior of the Convent of Espiritu Santo, one of the sup¬ 
pressed institutions, had “ indirectly ” inspired his crime by 
repeatedly telling him that “ Religion is being destroyed,” and 
that “ the only solution is the death of Obregon, Calles, and 
the Patriarch Perez [«V] 

The war between the Catholic Church and the Mexican 
Government did not end there. It went on unabated for many 
more years, during which the Catholic Church continued as 
nefariously as ever to prevent timely economic and social 
reforms from being carried out, in a determined effort to 
impose upon a rebellious people a domination which they had 
so stubbornly and bitterly rejected. 


The Mexican War was confined to civil strife, but the danger 
of foreign intervention was only narrowly avoided. There 
have been cases, however, in which the Vatican, having started 
a civil war, has succeeded in enlisting the help of foreign 
armies, thanks to which it was possible to bring about the 
destruction of the legitimate government and the installation 
of one wholly subservient to her: e.g. Spain. 

The reasons which in 1936 made the Catholic Church 
declare war on the Spanish Government were, broadly speak¬ 
ing, similar to those which had prompted her in Mexico. Two 
main factors characterized the Spanish, as compared with the 



2 go Vatican’s total war against hostile states 

Mexican Civil War: (a) that interested forces urging inter¬ 
vention for mere industrial and financial reasons were almost 
nil, and (b) that the Vatican enlisted the active military help 
of two countries with no free public opinion—i.e. two Fascist 
dictatorships. 

The basic causes of the war were neither new nor excep¬ 
tional. At the beginning of the century, as in many other 
nations, economic, social, and political discontent, coupled 
with the influx of new ideas, had made Spain stir with rest¬ 
lessness. Radical movements opposing Church and Monarchy 
appeared and gathered strength during and after the First 
World War. Result: a dictator came into power in 1923. 
His programme: the Nation, the Monarchy, and the 
Church. 

Discontent caused the fall of Primo De Rivera and a general 
election followed. The Vatican ordered the Spanish hierarchy 
to urge Catholics to vote only for those supporting tne 
Monarchy and the Church. The Primate of Spain followed 
suit. 

The Spanish people went to the poll and gave a prompt 
reply: it swept away the Monarchy and elected a Left-Wing 
government. On April 14 the Republic was proclaimed. 
“ May the Republic be cursed! ” was the charitable welcome 
of Cardinal Segura, on hearing of its birth. After which he 
went piously to chant a solemn Requiem Mass. 

In October the Cortes passed a resolution for the separation 
of Church and State and an act prohibiting teaching by 
religious orders. The Vatican instructed the hierarchy to 
prevent the passing of the new Constitution. The Spanish 
bishops wrote a pastoral letter and urged all Catholics to 
defend the Catholic Church by boycotting the Government. 
Priests began to engage in active plotting against the State. 
E.g. the Vicar-General of Vittoria, arrested while carrying 
letters of a treasonable nature from the Primate of Spain and, 
from the contents, in which the Vatican itself was clearly 
involved. The Government repeatedly asked for an official 
explanation, without result. 

Meanwhile the new Constitution had been passed. Separa¬ 
tion of Church and State was made a reality, complete religious 
freedom was granted, divorce by mutual consent permitted, 



Vatican’s total war against hostile states 291 

civil marriage 
approved. 

A cry of horror at such fiendish legislation was emitted by 
the Vatican. A violent, relentless Catholic opposition was 
promptly started on a large scale throughout Spain. 6 

The Government, instead of being intimidated, continued 
with its reforms (1933). Church disestablishment was approved 
by 278 to 50 votes. Church property estimated at ^100,000,000 
(one-third of the nation’s wealth) was nationalized. Eighty 
thousand monks and nuns were permitted only contemplative 
lives within the walls of their monasteries. 

At this the Vatican took concrete action. It ordered the 
Spanish hierarchy to promote an open rebellion. The Spanish 
bishops issued a pastoral letter and urged disobedience. 

While the seeds of active civil war were thus being sown, 
the Pope came to the fore and, after excommunicating the 
President, the Premier, and other rulers of the Republic, 
declared a “ spiritual war ” between Spain and the Holy See 
in an encyclical, Dilectissimi Nobis. 

The new Primate of Spain, Archbishop Goma, began to 
incite Spanish Catholics to direct rebellion: 

Unjust laws merit neither respect nor obedience [he preached]. 
Supervision of education, marriage and public culture are inherent rights 
of the Church; by their very nature they should be under religious con¬ 
trol. We must bring about their repeal. . . . We must abandon retreat 
and make a valiant stand. 7 


adopted, and the secularization of education 


Instructions were issued for the adoption of “ Catholic 
Action ” and for the closer co-operation of hierarchy and laity. 
Two Catholic leaders, the millionaire Juan March and a news¬ 
paper proprietor, Gil Robles, answered the hierarchy’s roll- 
call. 

Robles organized Catholic squads on the model of Italian 
and German Fascism and began to import gunmen. The 
Government, in its liberality, made the mistake of admitting 
Catholics to the Cabinet. Gil Robles secured for himself the 
Ministry of War and began to put Catholics in command of 
key positions in the Army. Socialists, radicals, and others 
banded together and formed a Popular Front. A bitter 
struggle, which lasted throughout 1935 and part of 1936, 



292 Vatican’s total war against hostile states 

followed. Result: the Cortes was dissolved and there was 
another election. The Centre won 62 seats, the Right 148, and 
the Popular Front 263. 8 

The Vatican, which had hoped to get control of the Republic 
by using the tactics of the Trojan horse, on seeing its plan 
frustrated immediately set to work on a second scheme, long 
prepared, for just such an eventuality. 

In close alliance with the most extreme elements of the 
Right, Catholics openly organized a campaign of violence. 
The followers of Gil Robles, as well as the whole Catholic 
Youth Organization led by General Franco’s brother-in-law, 
joined the Fascist Falange Espanola, founded in 1932 by the 
son of Primo De Rivera. Others swelled the ranks of the 
Monarchists, whose leader preached military rising. In addi¬ 
tion, a most Catholic and reactionary military group, repre¬ 
sented by the Union Militar Espanola, from as far back as 
1933 had been plotting the violent overthrow of the Republic. 
By 1934 it had already planned a coup d’etat, having been in 
touch with the Fascist Government of Italy to secure the 
support “ not only of the Italian Government, but also of the 
Fascist Party, in the event of the outbreak of Civil War in 
Spain.” 9 ' 

The plot for civil war at this stage was so far advanced that, 
immediately following the victory of the Popular Front, Gil 
Robles and General Franco had the audacity to propose to the 
Republican Prime Minister a military coup d’etat, before the 
Cortes could meet. 10 

On July 17, 1936, the army in Morocco occupied Gueta and 
Melilla, and officers rose in many Spanish towns. As soon as 
the revolt broke out. General Franco made haste to let the 
Pope know that his coup had succeeded. The Spanish Civil 
War had begun. 

The Catholic hierarchy, with few exceptions, sided with the 
rebels and asked the Almighty’s blessing on the new crusade. 
“ We are in complete agreement with the Nationalist [Franco’s] 
Government,” declared Cardinal Goma, Primate of Spain, 
“ which never takes a step without consulting me and obeying 
me.” 

From the very start Franco made it known that he had 
come to destroy the Republic and to restore the Church to her 



Vatican’s total war against hostile states 293 

former position. The Papal banner was unfurled over the 
rebel headquarters at Burgos, and the Pope had Franco’s flag 
raised over the Vatican. 

The Catholic plot had aimed at a sudden and complete 
seizure of power all over Spain. It miscarried. The people 
rose in defence of the Republic in such a vast majority that 
only one thing could save the Catholic rebels: foreign arms. 

As soon as the Vatican became persuaded that the Catholic 
plotters could not win unaided, it decided to give them help, 
this time from outside Spain. It urged a willing Mussolini to 
send arms and soldiers; it reached a tacit agreement with 
Hitler, by virtue of which, in exchange for German help, 
the Vatican would launch a world-wide crusade against 
Bolshevism. 

Pius XI called upon the civilized nations to rise against the 
“ Red monster ” which had “ already given proofs of its will 
to subvert all order, from Russia to China, from Mexico to 
South America,” and which now “ had started the fire of 
hatred and persecution in Spain.” Quick measures had to be 
taken lest it spread, said the Pope, ending with a blessing on 
“ all those who have undertaken the difficult and dangerous 
task to defend and reinstate the honour of God and religion.” 11 

This was the beginning of a world-wide Catholic offensive 
against Republican Spain. Bishops in Italy, Germany, and 
other countries published pastoral letters urging Catholics to 
help the fight against Bolshevism. The Pope spoke again. 
The Spanish Civil War, he said, was a foretaste of what “ is 
being prepared for Europe and the world unless the nations 
take appropriate measures against it.” 12 

Mussolini sent thousands of troops, all duly blessed by the 
Italian hierarchy. Hitler sent warplanes, warships, tanks, 
technicians, and soldiers. The help given by the two Fascist 
dictators at this stage can be gauged by the official figures 
published in 1951 by none other than the American State 
Department, in a 951-page volume entitled Germany and the 
Spanish Civil War. 13 

The documents give specific details of all the planes, guns, 
Italian divisions, and the German Condor Legion. Hitler 
spent $200,000,000. Mussolini’s intervention cost him 1,000 
airplanes, 6,000 lives among 100,000 troops, and fourteen 



294 Vatican’s total war against hostile states 

billion lire. Without Nazi and Italian help, the documents 
show, Franco’s cause would have been lost on several occasions. 

This was not only the objective conclusion of a sober, matter- 
of-fact American Commission a decade after the event; it was 
the conclusion of one who should have known: Adolf Hitler. 
“ Without Italian and German aid, Franco would not exist 
today,” declared the Fuehrer in 1940. _ . 

In addition to all this, legions of Catholic volunteers, inspired 
and organized by the Church, were sent from many countries 
at the same time as the Vatican was promoting a most 
unscrupulous campaign of vilification, hatred, and diplomatic 
intrigues throughout the world. Thus she was determined to 
influence the Foreign Offices of the various European and 
American democracies, and even the League of Nations. The 
South American Republics were urged to vote, and did vote, 
against non-intervention and in favour of embargo on ship¬ 
ment of arms to the Republicans. This move was preceded 
and followed by similar ones in Republican France, and in 
Protestant England, whose Foreign Office—supported by the 
U.S.A.—conceived, proposed, and carried out this most fatal 
policy, as the most calculated plan to help Catholic Franco 
win the war. 

This, it should be noted, while the Republican Government 
was denied goods, armaments, and men (the real volunteers 
who had flocked from many nations to its help were finally 
stopped), and was abandoned by all her friends, including 
Soviet Russia, who, after small help at the beginning, with¬ 
drew altogether from the scene. 

Notwithstanding such tremendous odds, the Spanish people 
fought a relentless, bitter fight from 1936 until 1939. 

The outcome of the scandalous procedure of Vatican and 
Western diplomacy in supplying the Catholic rebels with 
unlimited moral, political, and military support, while deny¬ 
ing the most dire necessities to the legally elected Republican 
Government, was bound to have but one result: the Republic 
was defeated. 

The Pope sent a special message to the Catholic victors: 

With great joy we address you, dearest sons of Catholic Spain, to 
express our paternal congratulations for the gift of peace and victory 
with which God has chosen to crown the Christian heroism of your 



Vatican’s total war against hostile states 295 

faith. ... We give you, our dear sons of Catholic Spain, our apostolic 
benediction. 14 

Thereupon, after having repeatedly stated that God should 
be thanked—“ for once more the hand of Divine Providence 
has manifested itself over Spain ”—while prominent Spaniards 
filled Franco’s jails, were tried, executed, and others sent into 
exile, many voluntarily refusing “ to be associated with that 
regime of assassins and of tonsured asses,” 15 the Vicar of 
Christ, during a ceremony when the flags of many nations 
were being paraded before him, approached Franco’s flag and 
kissed it; the only one to be accorded such a distinction. 

Franco’s flag had truly well deserved Papal predilection. 
For the new Spain was soon transformed into the model 
Catholic State, expounded in the Papal encyclicals, after 
democracy, “ that pernicious rule by the people,” had been 
overthrown not by die ballot, but by the bullet. 

In the new State, Catholicism was declared the only religion. 
From the elementary schools to the universities, its teaching 
was made compulsory. Divorce became anathema, abortion a 
crime, birth control punishable. 

Church property and all medieval privileges of the Church 
were restored. No other religion was allowed. Protestants 
were persecuted, their places of worship were closed; pastors 
were imprisoned or expelled from the country. No Bible was 
permitted free circulation; non-Cathofic books were confiscated 
or burned; the strictest censorship of literature and news¬ 
papers was enforced. Children of Protestant parents were 
forced to worship the image of the Virgin Mary. In many 
places, to procure employment attendance at Mass became 
compulsory. 16 Protestants and ex-Catholics were sent to con¬ 
centration camps for refusing to attend divine service. Free¬ 
thinkers, Democrats, Socialists, and Communists were deprived 
of civil rights or imprisoned. Political parties, trade unions, 
co-operatives were suppressed; the Corporate System enforced. 
Only one party was allowed. The Spanish version of the 
storm-troops was created. 

In the foreign field. Catholic Spain promptly supported 
Mussolini and Hitler: 

I consider as you yourself do, that the destiny of history has united 
you with myself and the Duce in an indissoluble way. 



296 Vatican’s total war against hostile states 

Catholic Franco wrote to Hitler on February 26, 1941. 

We stand today where we have always stood, in a resolute manner 
and with the firmest conviction, 

he added. Therefore, he concluded, 

you must have no doubts about my absolute loyalty to this political 
concept and to the realization of the union of our national destinies with 
those of Germany and Italy. 17 

And, after having hunted down the enemies of the Church 
within Spain, he did the same abroad by sending his anti- 
Bolshevik legion, the Blue Division, to fight side by side with 
the Nazi armies on the Russian Front. 

Catholic Spain had destroyed the Church’s foes with the 
help of God, Franco once declared after hearing Mass. Our 
battle against them “ will always be to our advantage, since 
they are against God and we are his soldiers.” 18 

That is why “ this nation, being a defender of truth, deserves 
the support of God,” declared the Archbishop of Toledo; and 
therefore she represents “ a triumph of religion and of the 
spirit,” added Pope Pius XII. 19 

Franco was a firm believer in a Catholic God. But having 
observed during the Civil War how Italian and German guns 
had played a not inconsiderable role in supplementing the 
somewhat dubious assistance of an otherwise Catholic Provi¬ 
dence, he made sure, after the crushing of the Republic, with 
a most un-Catholic practicality, that God’s support promised 
him by the Spanish hierarchy be given concreteness by way of 
a Spanish equivalent of the Nazi storm-troops—i.e. the Falange. 

In 1940 this body received a subsidy of 10,000,000 pesetas. 
By 1946 the subsidy had grown to 1,535,652,000 pesetas. The 
Falange was supplemented by the “ Somantes,” groups of 
armed civilians under State control, in addition to an army of 
1,000,000 men. By 1951-2, seventy-five per cent of Spain's 
Budget was allocated to military expenditure. In contrast to 
this, only five per cent was assigned to education. Super- 
Catholic Spain by 1951 was housing the incredible figure of 
5,200,000 illiterates in a population of 28,000,000 people, 
twenty-five per cent more than under the “ diabolical ” 
Republic. 20 Most of these huge sums, ironically enough, were 



Vatican’s total war against hostile states 297 

paid by a democratic country which, more ironically still, had 
become the most devoted Protestant supporter of the Vatican 
—namely, the U.S.A., which on August 28, 1951, gave a grant, 
the first of many, of 62,500,000 dollars, followed by another of 
100,000,000 dollars—and the signing of a military pact 
between the U.S.A. and Spain—all this to maintain in power 
that pious killer of Spanish democracy, Catholic Franco. 

A somewhat puzzling demonstration of a tactless lack of 
confidence in a Catholic Providence, worthy of the most 
villainous miscreant, on the part of a Catholic General, a son 
of that Church which so prides herself on her capability to 
mobilize both the Creator of the Universe and all his heavenly 
hosts to support her political machinations. 

It was in this manner that the iron fist of yet another 
Catholic dictatorship was permitted once more to foil and to 
continue to thwart all the nobler aspirations of a brave and 
most proud nation. 

Yet, from the very beginning, Franco’s malefic work had 
already been predestined to tumble ignominiously into the dust. 

It could not be otherwise, for truly that is the inescapable 
destiny reserved to all the violators of the will of the people, 
the ultimate annihilator of all ancient and modern tyrannies. 



16 

THE VATICAN AGAINST THE 
ORTHODOX CHURCH 

G iants act like giants, hence 
. their undertakings are on a 
gigantic scale. Years are reckoned 
by decades, decades by centuries. Geographical areas are made 
to embrace nations or even continents, while the histories of 
institutions and of races are seen in perspectives not easily 
comprehended. Because of this, their actions, being in har¬ 
mony with their extraordinary magnitude, will escape the 
notice of individuals unable to size up the vast historical 
panoramas which, although clearly scrutinizable by retinas of 
gigantic forms, yet are pardy blurred and often wholly 
invisible to others. 

The Catholic Church, the greatest surviving giant in the 
world, is a colossus with no peer in antiquity, experience, and, 
above all, in her determination to dominate the human race. 
To reach such a goal, she will suffer no rivals, tolerate no 
competitors, put up with no enemies. 

Giants who, like her, were found roaming in the deep valley 
of history, she fought with bloody claws and a ruthlessness to 
shame the Attillas, the Genghis Khans, and all the other 
scourgers of civilization. Many she led to their destruction; 
others she subjugated for good; some were annihilated, but 

298 



THE VATICAN AGAINST THE ORTHODOX CHURCH 


299 

some resisted and escaped all her guiles. More than one sur¬ 
vived, and even fought relentless battles that echoed with 
sanguinary echoes in the corridors of the centuries and that are 
still being fought as ferociously as in olden times, now, in the 
very midst of the twentieth century. 


Vatican diplomacy is the oldest diplomacy in the world. 
Most of those it fought were either shrunk to nothing by time 
or blotted out by history, and to modern ears all its multi¬ 
farious intrigues would sound as hollow and as unreal as they 
have become strangely unrelated to the ever-bewildering events 
of our day. 

Yet not all the ancient foes of the Vatican have been reduced 
to mere landmarks of the past. Some have bridged bygone 
centuries to the present, and one of them, the most formidable 
of all, the Orthodox Church, a peer to Catholicism in antiquity, 
is as much a reality in our time as is the Vatican itself. 

The antagonism of these two ancient colossi has produced 
the longest diplomatic war in the history of man, which is still 
being fought as fiercely, as ruthlessly, and as unscrupulously as 
ever. Catholic intrigues against Orthodoxy, since its inception, 
are uncountable. They fill the annals of the first millennium; 
and from the beginning of the second, when in 1054 the 
Orthodox Patriarch, Michael Cerulanius, brought about the 
final breach between the Eastern and Western Churches, until 
the fall of Constantinople, they remained paramount in the 
history of medieval Europe. 

The goal of this thousand-year war is simple: the destruc¬ 
tion or subjugation of the Orthodox Church or its voluntary 
or forcible integration into the Catholic Church. The 
unscrupulousness of Vatican diplomacy to reach this objective, 
prior to and after the fall of Byzantium, is hardly matched by 
parallel exertions in history, its most blatant intrigues of the 
period being veritable masterpieces of diplomatic cunning and 
double-dealing. Councils, religious compromises, political 
bargaining, secret negotiations with Orthodox Patriarchs, pacts 
with the Byzantine Emperors—everything and every device 
was used at one time or another to put Orthodoxy in fetters. 
E.g. the pact struck with the last Orthodox Emperor of Con- 



^00 THE VATICAN AGAINST THE ORTHODOX CHURCH 

stantinople, who, to obtain a promise of help in the defence of 
the Orthodox capital against the gathering Mahommedan 
ar mi es, pledged to the Vatican the mass conversion of the 

Orthodox Church. } 

From the smashing of the Orthodox Church’s political 
pillar, the Byzantine Empire, in 1453, to the crumbling of its 
political successor, the Russian Czarist Empire, in I 9 I 7 > 
Vatican-Orthodox relations were characterized by a period of 
comparative diplomatic lull. This was due to historical 
factors, the most outstanding of which was that, in the course 
of the centuries, the centre of Orthodoxy had shifted en masse 
from the Near East to the West, where its former missionary 
lands became its new home—namely, to Holy Russia. There 
the Orthodox Church struck deep roots. More than that: as 
Rome had been the first Rome, Constantinople had been the 
“ second Rome,” so now Moscow became the “ third Rome.” 
Moscow, Philothey said in the fifteenth century, was the 
natural successor of Constantinople. And now that Constan¬ 
tinople had fallen, the only Orthodox Empire left in the world 
was the Russian. The Russian nation alone, therefore, hence¬ 
forward became the true repository of the Orthodox Faith. 
The idea of an Orthodox Empire became the Russian’s 
paramount idea. Church and State were integrated, linked by 
a common messianic purpose. Having found such fertile soil, 
soon the Orthodox Church regained its old vigour and 
splendour. And, as of old, committing its ancient mistake, it 
identified itself as intimately with the Russian Empire as it had 
previously done with the Byzantine. From about 1721, when 
Peter the Great, after his Spiritual Regulation, made the 
Orthodox Church a branch of Czarism, until the Bolshevik 
Revolution, Caesaro-popism made her invincible against the 
machinations of the Vatican and almost impregnable to its 
attack on the religious, diplomatic, and political fronts. Her 
immense strength, however, was her fatal weakness, as the fall 
of Czarism would automatically entail the fall of the Orthodox 
Church—which, in fact, occurred in 1917. 

From then onward the machinations of Vatican diplomacy 
were resumed with renewed vigour wherever Orthodoxy 
existed—in the Balkans, in Russia, in North-east Europe, and, 
indeed, even in the Near East. 



THE VATICAN AGAINST THE ORTHODOX CHURCH 


3°I 

Catholic instruments used to hamper, undermine, boycott, 
and subjugate the Orthodox Church have been extremely 
varied, ranging from converted White Russians to Turkisn 
officers, beginning and ending with diplomatic or political 
intrigues of all kinds, as can easily be imagined. 

A typical case occurred after the First World War, when 
the fortunes of war put the fate of Constantinople in the 
balance. Immediately following the outbreak of hostilities, 
Lloyd George, Zaharoff, and Premier Yenezelos of Greece, 
signed an agreement by which the Greeks were to get the 
former Orthodox capital. This provoked a storm of protest 
from various quarters. The strongest, however, did not come 
from any Western State, but from the Vatican. The British 
Government, with whom the final decision rested, became the 
particular target of Papal displeasure. Constantinople should 
never be ceded to the Orthodox Church, was the Vatican’s 
request. This was tactfully ignored. Thereupon, Catholic 
diplomacy having looked elsewhere for support, soon found an 
unexpected ally in an unexpected quarter, a Turkish officer by 
the name of Kemal, who in no time dispelled Rome’s anxiety 
by a brilliant victory at Smyrna. Kemal’s victory precluded 
any possibility of Greece getting the ancient Orthodox capital. 

Kemal Ataturk was not slow to perceive that identification 
of the interests of the young Turkey and of the Vatican could 
be mutually beneficial, and a tacit but real alliance was unoffi¬ 
cially agreed upon. The fruits that it bore were various. 
They ranged from the heavy punishment and even death of 
any Turkish soldier found harming Armenian Christians, to 
the granting of special privileges to the Catholic Church in 
Turkish territory. But, in the eyes of Rome, its paramount 
result was that the Orthodox Church had been prevented from 
returning to its ancient seat. 

As long as an independent Turkish nation existed, Con¬ 
stantinople, by remaining incorporated in it, would never pass 
to her. The new Turkish Republic, therefore, must survive 
and prosper. Following this strategy, the curious spectacle of 
the Vatican supporting a Moslem nation ruled by an Atheist 
dictator became a discreet feature of Catholic diplomacy. 
Kemal Pasha, in gratitude for the unofficial pressure exerted in 
his favour by Catholic diplomacy in many European quarters. 



£02 THE VATICAN AGAINST THE ORTHODOX CHURCH 

maintained a tacit understanding with the Vatican throughout 
his tenure of office; an alliance, this, which, although almost 
unnoticed, yet more than once stultified various conflicting 
interests in the Middle East. 

Kemal Ataturk, who had been the instrument of “ a great 
victory for the Pope,” as the Osservatore Romano triumphantly 
put it, commenting upon Kemal’s military victory at Smyrna, 
a decade or so later became the instrument of a second, which 
symbolically was even more significant. 

The centre of the Orthodox Church since die foundation of 
the Byzantine Empire of Constantine the Great in a.d. 324 ^ as 
been the great Church of St. Sophia, which for over a 
millennium had come to symbolize Orthodoxy perhaps even 
more than St. Peter’s in Rome symbolizes the Mother Church 
of Catholicism. From St. Sophia the Orthodox Patriarchs 
ruled almost like Popes of the East, until the fall of Constan¬ 
tinople. After the fall, notwithstanding the shifting of the 
centre of Orthodoxy, St. Sophia continued to be the greatest 
symbol of Orthodoxy: a link bridging her past with the 
present, and her present with a future when St. Sophia would 
become once more die Mother Church of all Orthodox the 
world over. 

Such a dream, however, was soon to be shattered, at least for 
a comparatively short period, when in 1935 Kemal, in one of 
his boldest steps to modernize Turkey, converted St. Sophia 
into a museum of Romano-Byzantine-Christian and Ottoman- 
Muslim art. The humiliation of the centre of Orthodoxy 
could not have been more bitter. 

A thing worthy of notice is that, prior to Ataturk’s decision, 
the Vatican was informally consulted about any possible 
objections to St. Sophia’s transformation. The Vatican, which 
thunders so prompdy whenever a nation threatens to secularize 
Catholic schools or churches, not only did not object, but 
actually tacidy approved and even encouraged Kemal in his 
scheme. 

It was thus that, when finally the muezzin, having climbed 
the minarets of St. Sophia, called in echoing accents to the 
faithful for the last time and the great building became offi¬ 
cially a museum, whereas in the East the Moslems exculpated 
themselves to Allah for the sacrilege and the Orthodox world 



THE VATICAN AGAINST THE ORTHODOX CHURCH 303 

heard o£ the change with a heavy heart, at the Vatican there 
were smiles. Enigmatic, it is true, but very clear to those who 
understood the secret code of diplomacy. 


If the first upheaval created by the First World War had 
enabled the Vatican to score a significant victory against the 
Orthodox Church, that same world had unexpectedly opened 
up a tremendous vista of conquests for Catholic diplomacy by 
causing the simultaneous thunderous fall of two great empires 
which until then had partially dominated both the East and 
the West—i.e. the Turkish and the Russian Empires. This 
meant not only the tumbling of two massive political units, 
but also—and for the Vatican this had an even more significant 
meaning—the tumbling of the Caliphate as the supreme head 
of Islam, and of the Czar as the supreme head of the Orthodox 
Church. 

The downfall of Czarism, in addition to being a political 
event of the first magnitude, spelt the disintegration of the 
power of the Orthodox Church, centred in the person of the 
Czar. 

The centralization of political-religious power, by binding 
both, meant that the downfall of one would spell the downfall 
of the other. Which is precisely what occurred. The Russian 
Revolution consequently, by sweeping away Czarism, swept 
away also the established Orthodox Church. The latter fell, 
not only because of her ties with the civil power, but also 
owing to the intrinsic dead-weight which she had grown 
within herself. The Orthodox Church, in fact, had become a 
formidable reactionary power in her own right, whose 
economic tentacles spread to every nook and cranny of Holy 
Russia, controlling with an iron grip the minds and bodies of 
its inhabitants. She had over 80,000 churches and chapels and 
an army of 120,000 priests, supplemented by thousands of 
monasteries and convents, inhabited by another 100,000 monks 
and nuns. She controlled enormous wealth in land and build¬ 
ings, owning 20,000,000 acres of the richest land and, at the 
time of the outbreak of the Revolution, a bank balance of eight 
billion roubles and an income of about 500,000,000 roubles a 
year. 

L 



3O4 THE VATICAN AGAINST THE ORTHODOX CHURCH 

Her influence was truly enormous and was at the service of 
the Czar, whose absolutism was further advocated by priests 
who took to politics. Without mentioning the monk 
Rasputin, the clergy sent to Parliament were of the most 
reactionary kind. The Third Duma saw forty-five priests, 
none of whom belonged to the Liberal party; the next Duma 
had forty-eight, forty of whom represented the most 
reactionary movements. Whenever there were elections, the 
Orthodox Church supported the Czar and preached against 
any social or political reform. 

The Bolshevik Revolution, when it came, swept away this 
formidable tool of reaction as ruthlessly as it did Czarism. 
The immense Church property was nationalized, schools were 
requisitioned, the clergy were brought to political impotence: 
in short, the separation of Church and State was made a 
reality, and the Orthodox Church, despoiled of her magni¬ 
ficence, was reduced overnight to the naked poverty of early 
Christendom. 

All these portents were followed with sinister fascination by 
the Roman Curia. When, therefore, in 1917 the Bolsheviks 
took over, at the Vatican, incredible as it may seem, there was 
jubilation. If the Bolsheviks were a terrible menace, they were 
also a blessing in disguise. Had they not pulled down the 
Orthodox Church, Rome’s seemingly immovable rival ? Had 
they not become the instruments for her approaching total 
disintegration? 

The Russian Revolution had thus opened for the Vatican an 
immense field for Catholic conquest. A bold policy might 
result in what Catholicism had attempted in vain for over one 
thousand years: the reunion of the Orthodox Church, via a 
mass conversion of the Russians, in addition to the spiritual 
incorporation of Bulgaria, Rumania, Serbia, the Polish 
Orthodox Ukrainians, and all the other different Orthodox 
groups in Eastern Europe—in fact, practically the whole 
Orthodox world. Orthodox resistance against the Soviets 
found no sympathy whatsoever in Rome. On the contrary, it 
was welcomed in the hope that, by defying the new atheistic 
government, the Church would be given a mortal blow and 
would be wiped out for good. 

It was while waiting for the Orthodox Church to receive 



THE VATICAN AGAINST THE ORTHODOX CHURCH 305 

the last blow that would finally bury her, and while the whole 
of Europe kept repeating, “ This Lenin cannot last 55 —and by 
Lenin was meant Bolshevik Russia—that the Vatican unobtru¬ 
sively made the first moves directed at attaining simultaneously 
its two main goals: acceleration of the stab in the back for 
what it believed to be an already moribund Orthodox Church, 
and its grandiose scheme for the mass conversion to Catho¬ 
licism of the Orthodox millions. 

Count Sforza, a leading figure in the Italian Foreign Office, 
was approached by Pope Benedict XV, via one of the Pope’s 
most intimate confidants, and, under the seal of secrecy, was 
asked whether he would facilitate the entry of a number of 
Catholic priests into Russia. “ Seeing my surprise, 55 Count 
Sforza afterwards related, 

Monti [the Pope’s confidant] explained, and it was evident that he 
was repeating the very words of the Pope: “ His Holiness thinks that 
even these crimes and this blood will one day be of service if it is going 
to be possible, when the wave of irreligion has passed, to attempt a 
Catholic evangelization in Russia. Orthodoxy no longer has any deep- 
rooted life; its end as the official religion offers possibilities which would 
never have existed so long as a Czar, Protector of the Church, continued 
to reign.” 1 

On receiving a favourable reply, on the orders of Bene¬ 
dict XV, “ young priests began desperately studying 
Russian and the history of the Orthodox Church.” 1 Catholics 
with Russian experience and Catholic Russians overnight 
became top counsellors, chief among these being a Russian 
diplomat who, besides having become converted to 
Catholicism, had been ordained a Catholic priest: Alexander 
Evreinow, who was often consulted by the leading figures of 
the Vatican Secretariat of State. 

From Rome, Vatican activities spread towards Russia itself. 
Negotiations between Rome and Moscow continued with 
varying fortune, the Bolsheviks being seemingly bent on 
pursuing crafty tactics. Yet at the Vatican the hopes that its 
patient efforts would eventually be rewarded by the conversion 
of “a country of 90,000,000 people to the true religion” 
remained very bright. “ The moment has arrived propitious 
for rapprochement 55 (between the Vatican and Moscow), 
wrote the Osservatore Romano , “ inasmuch as the iron circle 



306 THE VATICAN AGAINST THE ORTHODOX CHURCH 

of Caesaro-popism, which hermetically closed Russian 
religious life to all Roman influences, has been broken.” 

At this point one question might come to the fore, in view 
of subsequent events. Surely Vatican diplomacy could not 
possibly trust the promises of the Bolsheviks ? And, if so, why 
did it go on negotiating? The answer is simple: the transac¬ 
tions were useful as preparatory ground for the eventual 
grand-scale conversion of Russia after Bolshevi\ Russia had 
collapsed. 

For the key to Vatican diplomacy, then as now, was just 
this. It must be remembered that at that period expeditionary 
forces were being dispatched by various Western countries to 
kill the revolution; indeed, that Catholic Poland had invaded 
Russian territory, and that anti-Bolshevik armies, encouraged, 
sponsored, and supported by the West, were roaming inside 
and outside Bolshevik Russia, in attempts to bring about its 
early downfall. The Chancelleries of Europe were buzzing 
with plans and counter-plans of all kinds to bring nearer the 
blessed day. 

The Vatican, consequently, based its moves on a possibility 
which at this period was practically a certainty for diplomatic 
Europe. “ Actual political conditions [inside Russia] form a 
grave obstacle; but this obstacle,” pontificated again the 
Osservatore Romano, “ has a temporary character.” 

The climax of the Vatican-Bolshevik negotiations was 
reached in 1922, when the Conference of Genoa offered the 
most incredible spectacle of the Bolshevik Foreign Minister, 
Chicherin, and the Pope’s representative, the Archbishop of 
Genoa, toasting one another in public. Vatican diplomacy 
thought it had scored a triumph, or, at least, was about to 
score one. Chicherin’s “ concessions,” however, were but an 
amplification of the basic Soviet rule that, as the separa¬ 
tion of Church and State was an accomplished fact, there 
was the amplest scope for any Church zealous of prosely¬ 
tizing. The Vatican, whose scheme remained immense, inter¬ 
preted this as favourable to itself, and plans for the 
“ Catholicizing of Russia ” were put forward. These, however, 
soon incurred great difficulties, owing to the delaying Soviet 
tactics. 

But what gave Vatican diplomacy a shock, and its under- 



THE VATICAN AGAINST THE ORTHODOX CHURCH 307 

standing with the Soviets a matter of urgency, was that the 
Bolsheviks, giving a literal interpretation to their constitution, 
had applied religious freedom with equal impartiality to 
various Protestant bodies, which had meanwhile made sound¬ 
ings for the Protestant evangelization of the Russians. This 
was not all: Atheistic and anti-religious organizations of all 
kinds were also flourishing everywhere, sponsored by the State 
itself. But, still worse, the moribund Orthodox Church, 
instead of resignedly giving up the ghost, was still alive— 
indeed, was giving alarming signs of recovering. 

The incursion of the Protestants into what the Vatican had 
envisaged as its exclusive field, but, above all, the ominous 
recovery of the Orthodox Church, convinced it that time was 
pressing. Vagueness had to be replaced by concrete action, 
to force the hand of the Soviets. 

The Vatican changed its tactics. The phase of patient, 
secretive negotiations was over. That of the diplomatic mailed 
fist was initiated. This consisted of indirect pressure, via 
Catholic friendly or allied nations, upon whomsoever Vatican 
diplomacy decided to attack. 

A Papal messenger arrived at the Genoa Conference. He 
bore a missive whose content was simple. It asked the Powers 
not to sign any treaty whatsoever with Bolshevik Russia unless 
“ freedom to practise any religion ” was guaranteed. Freedom, 
the Vatican explained to the Soviet representative at this 
juncture, meant complete freedom “ for the Catholic Church.” 
With regard to the other Christian denominations (Protestant 
and Orthodox), the Vatican would not object to any “ restric¬ 
tive ” measures that the Soviets might take against their 
exertions. Previous to this, the Vatican had made sure of the 
support of some of the countries participating in the Confer¬ 
ence by discreetly “ briefing ” Catholic and anti-Communist 
representatives assembled there. 

The Vatican’s efforts ended in nothing, the Genoa 
Conference having failed. 

In 1927 the last semi-direct attempts at agreement between 
the Vatican and Moscow took place. The Vatican declared its 
dissatisfaction with “ the Soviet proposals,” and relations with 
Moscow were broken off for good. 



308 THE VATICAN AGAINST THE ORTHODOX CHURCH 

Something of paramount importance which, more than 
anything else, made the Vatican adopt another diplomatic 
policy had meanwhile occurred. 

The Orthodox Church, although still stunned by the 1917 
blow, had rapidly adapted herself to the changed situation. 
The separation of Church and State, which the Vatican had 
reckoned would kill her, had turned, out to be a more 
invigorating factor than her former identification with the 
government which had caused her downfall. Orthodoxy, in 
fact, had begun to reorganize itself, and in the religious 
domain had already almost recovered its former strength. 

In these conditions, the original grandiose scheme of the 
Vatican had become obsolete. The policy of conversion was 
therefore discarded and a new one adopted. This rested upon 
the forcible overthrow of Soviet Russia via military attack. 

The original plan, based upon the formula that the Soviet 
regime was of a “temporary character,” was readopted. The 
various Foreign Offices of the world were still conceiving 
different schemes for the overthrow of the Bolsheviks. Had 
these succeeded, the Catholic Church would have penetrated 
Russia in their wake. 

It became increasingly evident, however, that to base a 
whole strategy upon this kind of “ intervention ” was to pursue 
an increasingly unrealistic policy. And within a few years, 
although the plan was once more discreetly dropped, it was 
nonetheless promptly replaced by another, no less grandiose: 
the total mobilization of the West against Soviet Russia, to be 
carried out, no longer by direct military intervention, but by 
an ideological and emotional anti-Bolshevik crusade, prepara¬ 
tory to an eventual physical attack. 

The scheme soon became a reality, thanks to the timely 
growth of a most sinister political portent: Fascism, whose 
fundamental policy was war against Communism. The 
Vatican, which had already concluded an alliance with its 
original founder, supported similar movements everywhere it 
could, with a view to converting the whole of Europe into a 
monolithic anti-Bolshevik bloc. Its ultimate objective: a 
military invasion of Russia. 

By 1930-31 the West had already been “ emotionally roused 
to war against Godless Russia.” Only three years afterwards, 



THE VATICAN AGAINST THE ORTHODOX CHURCH 309 

Hitler, having gone into power, began to voice his ambition of 
acquiring the Ukraine; three more years, and the Anti- 
Comintern Pact was signed between Nazi Germany and Japan 
(1936). Russia was being swifdy enclosed in an iron ring, 
from the West and from the East. Two more years, and the 
first surrender of Europe to Hitler was made at Munich (1938), 
when the four Powers—two Fascist Dictatorships, Nazi 
Germany and Fascist Italy, on the one side, and two 
Democracies, England and France, on the other—tried to 
settle the fate of Europe by sacrificing Czechoslovakia at the 
altar of appeasement. It was the Vatican which, during this 
crisis, specifically asked the British Premier, Chamberlain, to 
exclude Russia from the Conference. This at a time when 
Great Britain was seeking a pact with Russia, to strengthen 
her bargaining weight against Hitler. The exclusion proved 
fatal. Hitler emerged wholly victorious, and the Second 
World War was made inevitable. 

In the following year Hitler occupied the whole of Czecho¬ 
slovakia. During the Finnish War in 1939 Great Britain and 
France, with the Vatican in the background, instigated the 
expulsion of Soviet Russia from the League of Nations, and, 
in close co-operation with the Vatican, mobilized world 
opinion against her, speaking of this campaign as a crusade. 

Two years later the Vatican’s grand strategy bore its fruit. 
Hitler, backed by the might of a Nazified European continent, 
attacked Soviet Russia. The grandiose vistas dreamed of at the 
fall of the Czar were dreamed of once more, to the chanting of 
hallelujas in St. Peter’s. The Institute Pro Russia, in Rome, 
which had been languishing for so long, now pulsated with 
feverish activity, 2 and Catholics were urged to renew their 
devotions to Our Lady of Fatima. Yes, the promise of the 
Virgin, so curiously in harmony with the Vatican’s grand 
scheme, at long last was coming true. 

Within a few months, the Nazi armies had reached the out¬ 
skirts of Moscow, Leningrad, and Stalingrad. Soviet Russia 
was about to be destroyed. 

The Nazi armies and the Catholic legions fighting by their 
side, after their initial triumph, were hammered back. And 
ultimately, to the horror of the Vatican, it was the Russians 
who entered Berlin and not Hitler who entered Moscow. 



310 THE VATICAN AGAINST THE ORTHODOX CHURCH 

Vatican diplomacy had received yet another resounding 
defeat. But even before this had been completed, with its 
typical suppleness it had already launched yet another anti- 
Bolshevik, anti-Orthodox grand scheme, in co-operation with 
a new partner, which was even more powerful than its former 
Nazi ally—i.e. the United States of America. The new cam¬ 
paign had been launched while the guns of the Second World 
War were still echoing in the battlefields of both Europe and 
Asia, and the people of the world were looking forward with a 
prayer in their hearts to an era of tranquillity and peace. 


As, after the First World War, Vatican diplomacy operated 
simultaneously a many-branched anti-Soviet strategy, so, after 
the Second, it launched another, no less formidable than the 
first. 

The ultimate objective being the same, fundamentally its 
policy remained the same. In addition to its new main 
partners, playing the role of Nazi Germany vis-a-vis Soviet 
Russia, new tactical moves directed at implementing it were 
carefully studied and carried out. These, although seemingly 
disconnected, in reality were closely knit into an inter-con¬ 
tinental pattern embracing the whole world. 

The principal tactical features of this new strategy took the 
form of: (a) mobilization of the Catholics of the Near East; 

( b ) mobilization of the Orthodox Church outside Russia; 

(c) mobilization of Islam; and (d) general intensification and 
speeding up of the ideological and military mobilization of the 
West. 

These four types of political machination were carried out 
almost simultaneously, with a technique which was greatly 
different from that used after the First World War, when the 
Vatican, having failed to carry on its intrigues against the 
Orthodox Church inside Russia, had shifted its operations 
against her outside Russia—that is to say, in the Balkans. 

After the second World War the Vatican began to mobilize 
all Catholics in the Near and Middle East. 

It was thus that, as the various Balkan countries became 
sealed to Catholic diplomacy, the Vatican became increasingly 
active outside the Balkans—e.g. with the Chaldean Catholics, 



THE VATICAN AGAINST THE ORTHODOX CHURCH 3II 

mainly centred in Iraq; the Maronites in the Lebanon; the 
Copt-Catholics in Egypt; the Melkites, or Greek Catholics, and 
others to be found in practically all these territories, as well as 
in Syria, Transjordan, and Palestine. 

Simultaneously with this, it approached the Orthodox 
Church outside the Communist world with a view to induc¬ 
ing it to side with the Vatican, or, at least, with the 
Vatican’s political allies in their anti-Russian, anti-Communist 
wars. 

Unofficial negotiations were initiated, but, owing mainly to 
Orthodoxy’s deep-rooted suspicion of the Vatican, these yielded 
very little result. Indeed, it looked as though they would 
prevent any real rapprochement altogether. 

Vatican diplomacy waited for a while and then resorted to a 
master move. It sent to the Middle East, no longer Catholic 
diplomats, but the envoy of the two most powerful men in the 
West: Mr. Myron Taylor, the representative of the President 
of the U.S.A., and simultaneously, on this particular mission, 
representative of the Pope vis-cL-vis the Orthodox leaders whom 
he went to meet. 

It was thus that, at the beginning of February, 1949, when 
the cold war against Russia was at its height, Myron Taylor 
arrived at Istanbul, where, in his dual capacity, he met the 
Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras. 

Mr. Taylor put forward concrete plans for the co-operation 
of the Orthodox and Catholic Churches, in the face of the 
“ Communist threat to religion,” at the same time trying to 
ascertain the “ true ” current status of the Orthodox Churches 
in Communist-dominated countries, and the ways in which 
Communism might be using these Churches to strengthen its 
position in Eastern Europe and in Near-East areas. Having 
discussed such matters, both with the Orthodox leaders and 
with the Apostolic delegate in Turkey, Myron Taylor, to 
make his argument for Orthodox co-operation more convinc¬ 
ing, stated in no doubtful terms that the “ co-operation ” of 
Orthodoxy was not only wished for by the Vatican but was 
“ wanted ” by the U.S.A. The whole point of the Vatican’s 
choice of Myron Taylor, the representative of the American 
President, to meet the Eastern Orthodox leaders, was to lay 
emphasis precisely on this. 



312 THE VATICAN AGAINST THE ORTHODOX CHURCH 

It was the trump card of Vatican diplomacy, so well screened 
behind the American envoy. For it must be remembered that 
Greece, where the Orthodox Church was at its strongest, had 
been saved by America from becoming a Communist country 
only a short while before. Following the end of the Second 
World War, a bloody civil war between Right and Left devas¬ 
tated Greece for several years. Great Britain poured in troops 
to reinforce the anti-Communist faction. The Left, however, 
owing chiefly to the support of the population, was near to 
winning, and the U.S.A. had to intervene. 

Military and financial aid was rushed to the country. The 
Left was defeated. Extreme Right-Wing forces were installed 
in power. Throughout the civil war and the British and 
American intervention, the Orthodox Church played a para¬ 
mount role. Indeed, at one time the Greek Orthodox 
Patriarch became head of the Greek Government. 

The Orthodox Church, having identified itself with the 
Right and with the American interventionists, consequently 
had the support of the Greek Government, sponsored by the 
U.S.A. Withdrawal of American protection would have 
meant the fall of the Right-Wing Greek Government, in which 
case the fate of the Greek Orthodox Church would have been 
precisely a repetition in miniature of the fate of the Russian 
Orthodox Church on the fall of the Czar. 

The dispatch of the American envoy as the Vatican’s repre¬ 
sentative, with his emphasis on the American desire to see the 
co-operation of the Orthodox Church, was political blackmail 
of the first water which the Vatican had accomplished by 
using political, non-Catholic pressure. 

Precisely one year later the mission bore its first real fruit. 
In February, 1950, His Beatitude the Patriarch Cristoforos of 
Alexandria arrived in Athens to prepare with Archbishop 
Spiridon, head of the Orthodox Church in Greece, for an 
event of the greatest significance: the summoning of a Pan- 
Orthodox Synod. 

The new Synod, once translated into less direcdy theological 
terms, meant a political council of the Orthodox Churches to 
keep step with the anti-Communist war of their protector, the 
U.S.A. 

The Orthodox Church within the Communist regions 



THE VATICAN AGAINST THE ORTHODOX CHURCH 313 

countered soon afterwards, when Patriarch Alexei of Moscow 
“extended” the Russian Church’s jurisdiction to include 
Hungary (March, 1950). 

This was followed by a counter-blow from the Russian 
Orthodox Church in the United States, which announced that 
it had officially broken all ties with the Orthodox Church of 
Moscow. Metropolitan Bishop Krimowicz, of Springfield, 
Mass., was appointed Patriarch of the Orthodox Church in the 
United States, and Metropolitan Bishop Jaroshevich Patriarch 
of the Orthodox Church in foreign countries (October, 1950). 
In December, 1951, Metropolitan Leonty, the Orthodox 
Church’s U.S. Primate, and the Bishops of Alaska and San 
Francisco, invested a one-time officer of the Czarist army as 
the first Orthodox Bishop of Washington. 3 

Moves and counter-moves followed one another in quick 
succession in the years that followed, until the bridges were 
totally burnt on either side. 

The Orthodox Church had been split asunder, one part, the 
larger, in Soviet Russia, the centre of the Communist world, 
the other in the U.S.A., the centre of Western Capitalism. 

Division means weakness. The Vatican had manoeuvred 
its opponent where it had planned to manoeuvre it, in readiness 
for reducing further its unity and thus bringing nearer its 
ultimate downfall. 


Simultaneously with these moves, Vatican diplomacy was 
busy setting in motion one of the greatest religious-political 
forces in the world, Islam. Islam, the historic enemy of 
Christianity, had always loomed large in Vatican diplomacy’s 
plans against the Orthodox Church. 

Cautious unofficial exchanges between the Vatican and 
various Arab countries, particularly the most influential Islamic 
country in the Middle East, Egypt, were begun in the years 
that followed the Second World War. These bore exceptional 
results. In 1946 an Arab delegation, composed of Christians 
and Moslems, paid an official visit to the Pope, and in 1947 the 
Moslem East made its first official approach to the Vatican. 
Egypt exchanged representatives with the Pope, and sent to 
Rome a Minister Plenipotentiary. Other Moslem countries— 



3 I 4 THE VATICAN AGAINST THE ORTHODOX CHURCH 

e.g. Syria, the Lebanon, Iran—followed Egypt’s example, and 
soon even those Moslem lands which had not yet officially 
exchanged diplomats were unofficially in close touch with 
Rome. 

The Vatican’s mobilization of the Islamic world culminated 
in 1950, when the Egyptian Foreign Minister, Salah ed Din, 
disclosed that Egypt and the Vatican had been conducting 
secret negotiations and had agreed upon the establishment 
of a united Roman Catholic-Moslem front against Com¬ 
munism.” 4 

The following year, Azzam Pasha, Secretary-General of the 
Arab League, went to Rome for a whole week, where he saw 
the Pope and other Vatican dignitaries: “ The time has come 
for us to collaborate loyally, both as a nation and a religious 
entity, in the rebirth of a common patrimony,” he declared, 
speaking on Radio Rome, “ and in . . . the creation of a 
united front between Islam and Christianity against Com¬ 
munism.” 5 

The foundations of a Catholic-Islamic partnership had been 
skilfully laid by Vatican diplomacy. From then onwards, 
particularly during 1951-2, and in spite of many vicissitudes, 
it continued to be solidified, to the present day. Islam is a 
potentially formidable religious-political unit. Whoever 
succeeds in exerting even a partial influence upon it will wield 
a power capable of provoking political and social repercussions 
in many strategically important parts of the world. From 
Spanish, and French Morocco to Egypt, Persia, P akistan , 
Indonesia, indeed, to within the very Soviet Union itself, 
housing 25,000,000 Moslems, as well as within Communist 
China, housing another 50,000,000. 

The potentialities of the Moslem world as a formidable anti- 
Communist, anti-Russian, religious-political instrument, did 
not escape the attention of another anti-Communist power, the 
U.S.A. The American mobilization of the Islamic countries 
had been initiated by Roosevelt himself, who, just before his 
death (1945), had envisaged meeting Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia, 
King Farouk of Egypt, and others, for the amalgamation of 
the Near and Middle East into the framework of American 
global foreign policy. 

Since then, Vatican-American interests ran ever closer, until. 



THE VATICAN AGAINST THE ORTHODOX CHURCH 315 

within a few brief years, they were transformed into a veritable 
Vatican-American alliance. The material might of the U.S.A* 
and the spiritual power of the Catholic Church, by mobilizing 
the religious influence of Islam and the political energies of the 
Arab world, had encircled Soviet Russia in a religious-political 
iron ring, the precursor of a military one. 

Its objective: for the U.S.A., the destruction of a mighty 
ideological and economic enemy; for the Catholic Church, the 
destruction, not only of Communism, but of Soviet Russia, the 
new protector of her religious rival, the Orthodox Church. 

In bygone centuries the Vatican schemed stubbornly and 
tirelessly with the Turkish Empire, with the Austrian Empire, 
with Moslem, Buddhist, and other potentates, to bring about 
the downfall of Czarist Russia, so as to weaken the Orthodox 
Church. 

In the twentieth century it schemed with equal pertinacity 
with the Europe which arose after the First World War, with 
Fascism and Nazism before and during the Second, in order, 
by causing the downfall of Soviet Russia, to paralyse a 
regenerated Orthodoxy. 

After the Second World War it continued in its relentless 
scheming with the U.S.A., with a “ dollarized ” Europe, with 
the Arab nations and other Asiatic countries, to annihilate the 
U.S.S.R., in order, once again, to subjugate its Orthodox rival. 

Catholic scheming, it should never be forgotten, has for its 
ultimate objective, not only the annihilation of an ideological 
enemy, represented by Soviet Russia, but also the annihilation 
of a religious foe, which the Catholic Church is more deter¬ 
mined than ever to reduce to total subjugation and, indeed, to 
wipe from the face of the earth: the ever-resurgent Orthodox 
Church, the millennarian enemy she has sworn either wholly 
to absorb or wholly to demolish and destroy. 



17 

THE VATICAN AGAINST 
PROTESTANTISM 

T he dictum that old religious 
factions are like burned-out vol¬ 
canoes, and hence that ancient 
religious hatreds are dead, is not only erroneous, it is a 
dangerous fallacy. 

To believe, therefore, that the enmity of the Catholic Church 
towards Protestantism is a thing of the past, or that the 
Catholic Church, while still waging war against her Orthodox 
rival, is at peace with all other Christian denominations, is 
as unreal as to believe that she no longer considers herself the 
unique bearer of truth and all other credences heretical, 
michievous, and false. 

Ancient Catholic odium against Protestantism is still there, 
potent, dynamic, and as mercilessly ready to attack as ever. 
The temper of the West would no longer permit an open 
resumption of the old Catholic-Protestant conflicts, nor could 
the Catholic Church act with either success or impunity in a 
society where the principle of religious freedom is loudly 
proclaimed and practised. 

But to believe that the Catholic Church is no longer her 
former self because of a sudden radical change of heart is 
dangerous. 

316 



THE VATICAN AGAINST PROTESTANTISM 317 

Her present superficial tolerance is derived from a mixture 
of forcibly and voluntarily accepted factors, mostly beyond her 
control. Besides modern society having compelled her to 
accept religious tolerance, motives of her own have persuaded 
her to accept and even to befriend Protestantism: among these 
the rise of powerful contemporary hostile ideologies and the 
furtherance of some of her own political schemes. These last 
two are so closely inter-related that the necessity of opposing 
the former and of advancing the latter has compelled the 
Catholic Church to side with those very religious opponents 
whom, not so long ago, she would have unhesitatingly burned 
for theologically dissenting from her. 

Complementary to the above, other no less powerful motives 
have contributed to Catholic “ tolerance ” of Protestantism; 
the fact that the most influential Western nations nominally 
are partly or wholly Protestant, that the most powerful of 
these, the U.S.A., has become the chief ally of the Vatican, and 
that the Vatican’s financial budget has become a dollar budget, 
almost three-quarters of it coming, directly or indirectly, 
from the U.S.A. This has far more weight at the Vatican 
than is generally believed, and adds to the irony of history in 
so far as the Catholic Church is at present financially, politic¬ 
ally, and even militarily wholly dependent upon Protestant 
lands; indeed, the mainstay of her global political strategy 
is Protestant U.S.A. Last but not least—and fundamentally, 
perhaps, the most powerful factor of all—is the fact that the 
Catholic Church has embarked upon an all-out effort at 
religious and political penetration of America, which it intends 
to capture from within. The shelving of Catholic anti- 
Protestant intolerance is due to these and certain other causes. 
Yet, in spite of the overwhelming reasons which compel the 
Catholic Church to pay lip-service to democratic freedom and 
hence to show a liberal attitude towards Protestantism, her 
ancient odium can still be seen at work. 

To be sure, it is not made to operate on a large scale. It is 
not even systematic. It is uneven, haphazard, occasional, at 
times almost unrecognizable, but, just because of this, the more 
significant. The fire of Catholic hatred is still there, seem¬ 
ingly extinct because deceptively covered by a thick layer of 
ashes. For the incautious, that is the best proof that it has 



THE VATICAN AGAINST PROTESTANTISM 


3 l8 

gone out long ago. Yet, were its smouldering ashes to be even 
slightly disturbed, unexpected flames would leap up with the 
ferocity and the violence of old. 

Contemporary Catholic tolerance of Protestantism is totally 
deceptive. If it is true that it has been imposed by modern 
man, it is also true that it has never been acknowledged by the 
Catholic Church as the genuine attitude of a regenerated 
Catholicism towards non-Catholic Christianity. On the con¬ 
trary, the Catholic Church has remained as true to herself as 
ever. Certainly, her odium is not proclaimed from the house¬ 
tops, particularly those of Protestants, many of whom, urged 
by a common fear, have become her friends. Yet some of her 
words or deeds, more than significant, are indicative of her 
true attitude. 

Prior to the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, for instance, 
Catholics talked openly of the renewal of a Catholic struggle 
against Protestantism, as openly as in the previous century. 
This was not the opinion of unauthoritative sources alone. 
The Monde , of Paris, at that time “ the organ ” of the Papal 
Nuncio, bluntly called the war a religious one against 
Protestantism. France had been assured by the Vatican that 
she had only to attack Protestant Prussia and all the Catholics 
of Southern Germany would join her. Without the miscal¬ 
culation caused by these statements, it is not probable that the 
French would have been hurled into the ditch of Sedan. The 
cry, “the Church,” raised by the Bavarian Catholic priests, 
not having, after all, proved as strong as that of “ the Father- 
land,” raised by the patriots. 

The Franco-Prussian War, labelled the war to “ beat ” 
Protestantism, cost Napoleon III his throne. It might be 
argued that the nineteenth century is not the twentieth, and 
that Catholicism has greatly changed since then. That is not 
only erroneous, it is a dangerous assumption. The twentieth 
century has blunted almost to extinction the Vatican’s diplo¬ 
matic anti-Protestant sting. Not sufficiently, however, to dis¬ 
prove that, had the Vatican the opportunity to give vent to its 
anti-Protestant hatred, it would still go to very great lengths 
to oppose Protestantism by every means, induing the use of 
violence. The Ossermtore Romano did not hesitate to publish 
a series of authoritative articles against Protestantism only a 



THE VATICAN AGAINST PROTESTANTISM 319 

few years ago. 1 Certain utterances from the Vatican in con¬ 
nexion with Protestantism can still assume a truly sinister 
significance—e.g. that of Cardinal Gasparri, Secretary of State 
to two Popes, Benedict XV and Pius XL During the First 
World War, news reached the Vatican of the capture of 
Jerusalem from the Turks. 

Cardinal Gasparri, while rejoicing at the news, for reasons 
we have already seen, after a moment of reflection became very 
serious. Asked the cause of such a sudden change, the 
Cardinal explained that the excellent news was spoiled by the 
fact that the liberation had been accomplished by a Protestant 
country: “ It is to be regretted,” were the Cardinal’s words, 
“ that the rescue should have been accomplished by a Power not 
of the true faith i.e. Britain. 2 These words, taken by them¬ 
selves, are harmless enough. Yet, when uttered by the 
Vatican’s Secretary of State, the moulder of Catholic political 
grand strategy, they assume a different significance. In his 
mouth they came to express the Vatican’s regret that a Protestant 
country had done what the Catholic Church, even if indirectly 
through a Catholic Power, should have done. More than this, 
they came to signify the Vatican’s determination, should the 
opportunity again arise, to urge a friendly Catholic State to 
eject Protestant England from Palestine and thus replace a 
Protestant by a Catholic flag. 

Is this a far-fetched conclusion, purporting to prove that 
every Vatican dignitary’s utterances are the expression of the 
darkest designs? The answer was given some twenty years 
later, openly, publicly, and enthusiastically, by the Italian 
hierarchy, with the blessing of the Vatican. 

When Fascist Italy declared war upon Great Britain 
(June io, 1940), Mussolini looked, not so much westwards as 
eastwards, to the Near and Middle East. The Duce was not 
alone. At the Vatican, eyes were also turned eastwards, and 
precisely to Palestine. The news of Jerusalem having been 
taken by a Protestant country, which had distressed Cardinal 
Gasparri, was remembered. His seemingly harmless regret 
that “ a Power not of the true faith ” was holding the Holy 
Land was at last translated into concrete political terms. 
Vatican policy, which until then had lain dormant, waiting for 
the right opportunity, was set in motion, and soon afterwards 



THE VATICAN AGAINST PROTESTANTISM 


320 

several top hierarchs were discreetly “ briefed ” to sponsor a 
certain policy. The result was almost immediate. Thirty 
Italian bishops, supported by thousands of their clergy, sent a 
wire to Mussolini, urging—what? That he should “ crown 
the unfailing victory of our army by planting the Italian flag 
[a Catholic flag] over the Holy Sepulchre.” 3 In other words, 
that he should eject Protestant England, the occupying Power, 
and replace her by Fascist Italy, a Catholic nation profess¬ 
ing the true faith. 

Protestant England was eventually ejected. Not, however, 
by Catholic Italy, but by the Jews. A Jewish State, Israel, the 
first since the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus in the first 
century a.d. came into being. Vatican efforts had once more 
been nullified. But Vatican diplomacy, as always, resinned 
instantly its tireless exertions against the new controlling 
power, going so far as to mobilize the Catholic vote against 
Israel and recommending the internationalization of the Holy 
City within the United Nations, as we have already seen. 

Here Vatican anti-Protestant exertions were confined almost 
exclusively to the diplomatic-political field and passed almost 
unnoticed. There are instances, however, although admittedly 
rare, when the Vatican can stage spectacular anti-Protestant 
opposition during which it employs all its political, diplo¬ 
matic, ecclesiastical, religious, and spiritual pressure—e.g. that 
in connexion with the celebration of the commemoration of 
John Huss. 

In 1924 the Czech Republic planned a great national cere¬ 
mony in honour of the country’s hero, John Huss. It so 
happened, however, that in her own good time the Catholic 
Church had burned Huss as a spreader of error. On hearing of 
the plan, the Vatican requested the Republic not to celebrate 
these festivities, which, it said, would amount to the glorifica¬ 
tion of a heretic. The celebrations would take place, the 
Czechs responded, whether the Vatican liked it or not. 

The Vatican mobilized its diplomatic machinery, and the 
Papal Nuncio ordered the hierarchy to initiate a national cam¬ 
paign of protest against the commemoration. The order was 
duly obeyed. The vast organization of the Church was put 
into operation. The Government, any supporter of the 
celebrations, and, indeed, anybody who dared to defend the 



THE VATICAN AGAINST PROTESTANTISM 3 21 

memory and work of John Huss, were attacked and vitu- 
perated in the Press and radio, from the pulpits, in the Chamber 
of Deputies, day in and day out, to such an extent that finally 
the issue became the most dangerous religious, social, and 
political problem of the moment. 

When at last the Church perceived that her attempt to dictate 
to the Czech Government was of no avail, Vatican diplomacy 
resorted to the direct weapon and openly blackmailed the 
Republic by threatening that, unless the celebrations were 
stopped, diplomatic relations would be cut off. As before, the 
Government would not be intimidated and, the threat having 
been ignored, continued its preparations for the anniversary. 
At this the Vatican took the unprecedented step of blatantly 
electing itself the supreme judge of the religious, political, and 
cultural independence of a sovereign, half-Protestant country, 
by ordering the Papal Nuncio in Prague officially to protest 
“against the offence given to the Catholic Church by the 
honouring of a heretic.” This official protest having no effect, 
the Vatican, after further heightening the tension by a total 
mobilization of all its religious and political forces inside the 
Republic, at a certain moment staged a most melodramatic exit 
and instructed the Papal Nuncio to leave Prague (July, 1925). 

The abandonment of a Papal nunciature, in the eyes of 
any government convinced, like the Czechs, of the absolute 
necessity of separation of Church and State, would not, in 
ordinary circumstances, have been a serious issue in itself. 
With a government contending with a vocally strong Catholic 
minority, however, the departure might have caused serious 
trouble and been enough to make any such government con¬ 
sider very carefully the pros and cons of an open breach with 
the Vatican. With a government contending with a strong, 
semi-autonomous, solidly knit, fervent, racial-religious group 
wholly dominated by the Catholic Church, such a diplomatic 
break on what had become seemingly only a religious issue was 
a case charged with the most nefarious possibilities. The Czech 
Government had to contend not only with a strong Catholic 
minority within Czechoslovakia, but with a semi-autonomous 
racial-religious group, upon whom the very preservation of 
national unity and, indeed, of national independence rested. 
This racial-religious group—-i.e. the Slovaks—formed almost 



THE VATICAN AGAINST PROTESTANTISM 


322 

one-third of Czechoslovakia. For a young Republic not yet 
one decade old to promote differences between the central 
government and Slovakia on religious problems was not only 
to emphasize profoundly the religious differences between one- 
third, the Catholic Slovaks, and the other two-thirds, the 
Protestant Czechs, but to split them also into racial, historical, 
cultural, and political fields. Failure to avert this rift within a 
State composed of different racial-religious groups would have 
meant ultimate disaster. 

The departure of the Papal Nuncio from Prague, conse¬ 
quently, was not a dramatic but harmless gesture; it was a 
direct concrete threat on the part of the Vatican to the very 
existence of the Czech Republic. 

The already smouldering fire of Slovak separatism was, from 
then onward, made to burn more fiercely, fanned periodically 
by the Vatican, until the Slovaks and the Czechs, seemingly 
only through racial and political antagonism, split asunder. 

The paramount cause of their separation fundamentally was 
a religious one. It was this profound religious antagonism 
which, by contaminating with its intolerance the racial, 
cultural, social, and political behaviour of the Catholic Slovaks, 
finally brought about the disaster. 

The controversy over the celebration of the commemoration 
of the “heretic ” John Huss, with the departure of the Papal 
Nuncio, was one of the remote but real causes of the growing 
conflict between the Czechs and the Slovaks. Vatican diplo¬ 
macy had initiated an all-out war against the “ Hussite ” 
country, destined to be crowned with complete success: the 
disintegration of the young Czechoslovakian Republic. 


The rise of the great political ideologies of the twentieth 
century, besides having thwarted the Vatican’s anti-Protestant 
diplomatic and political exertions, has also immensely restrained 
the Catholic Church from persecuting Protestants on purely 
religious grounds. 

Notwithstanding this, however, the Catholic Church is still 
waging a subterranean, silent anti-Protestant war everywhere. 
Because its victories and defeats are not proclaimed to the sound 
of trumpets, it should not be taken for granted that this war 



THE VATICAN AGAINST PROTESTANTISM 323 

is not still potentially capable of turning into a major one. 

That the Catholic Church of the twentieth century basically 
has not changed one iota from the Church of the past in 
her hatred of Protestantism could be proved ad infinitum : 
“It is necessary to insist on constant affirmation that right 
principles be spread abroad with every available means,” said 
a leading cardinal in 1950. Reason? So that “errors be 
uncovered at once and destroyed.” 4 That is the true contem¬ 
porary attitude of Catholicism towards error—i.e. Protestantism. 

Modern society does not permit Catholicism to translate such 
medieval intolerance into deeds. Yet Catholic pressure is 
constantly at work. Its weight, methods, and the means 
employed vary according to religious and political environ¬ 
ment, so that Catholic hostility differs from place to place and 
from country to country. 

It can vary from an antagonism which is almost indiscernible 
to the beating up of Protestants and the burning of their 
churches; from the tacit violation of a Constitution to the 
open proclamation that, where there is the Catholic religion 
there is no room for any other denomination. 

In most nominally Catholic countries the Constitution 
openly proclaims religious freedom. Yet religious freedom is 
purposely violated. In Italy, for instance, the Catholic Church 
strove to impede Protestant growth by every legal and illegal 
means available. Although Italian Protestants (100,000) were 
theoretically guaranteed religious freedom by the Constitution, 
the Italian Government, dominated by the Catholic Party for 
many years following the Second World War, invoked old 
Fascist police laws to prevent Protestants from opening 
churches. 5 

The application of old Fascist laws, or the tacit violation of 
religious freedom, are supplemented by other hostile devices— 
e.g. the opening and strengthening of special religious or lay 
organizations by the Church to fight “ Protestant proselytism ” 
in, for instance, free schools established by English and 
American Methodists. One of these, the Irish Christian 
Brothers, waged such a successful war against Protestantism 
in Rome that by 1952 their language schools forced the closing 
of the “ proselytizing schools ” of the Protestants. 

In another country the attack will be more direct—e.g. in 



THE VATICAN AGAINST PROTESTANTISM 


3 2 4 

Chile, where in 1951 Chilean bishops issued a joint pastoral 
letter atttacking Masons and Protestants, and warning all 
Catholics against proselytizing by Protestant evangelists, who 
“ though divided into numerous sects are united in one thing 
—attacks on the Church and its teaching.” In the Argentine 
the hierarchy, after giving similar advice, incited open boycott 
of Protestants. In Buenos Aires, meetings held by the Escuela 
Cientifica Basilio were interrupted by thousands of Catholics, 
organized by the hierarchy. The speakers were stopped by a 
crowd chanting, “ Jesus is God,” which afterwards went before 
the Archiepiscopal Palace, chanting the Credo, where they 
were addressed by the Auxiliary Bishop of Buenos Aires, 
Manuel Tato, who praised them for what they had done, 
saying that it was the duty of Catholics to attack the enemies 
of the Church, as they had done, wherever these appear. 6 

The degree of Catholic odium against Protestantism increases 
with the increase of Catholic power, a typical example of this 
being Franco’s Spain. 

In Spain, in 1952, the 20,000 Protestants were as spiritually 
isolated as heretics in the sixteenth century, and were socially 
confined to a veritable Protestant ghetto. 7 They could not 
mark their churches, hold services even in private homes, name 
their chapels, conduct recreational clubs or parochial schools; 
they could not become teachers, lawyers, or army officers; 
indeed, it was almost impossible for them to get married. 
This was not all. Open boycott, compulsion, and persecution 
were conducted throughout Spain as far as prudent without 
arousing the outside world, particularly Protestant U.S.A. 
which, by 1951-2, had already poured into Franco’s coffers 
hundreds of millions of dollars. Even so, the Spanish hier¬ 
archy did not hesitate to proclaim the existence of only one 
true religion, “ dissidence ” was not permitted, while non- 
Catholic denominations were tacitly and often openly treated 
as an evil. In 1949 their official publication, Ecclesia, came 
out with the declaration that “ the objective right to profess a 
false religion does not exist.” Protestant schools could not 
be established; Protestant children were compelled to attend 
classes where Catholic religious teaching was obligatory, State 
school-teachers being obliged to take them, with Catholic 
children, to Mass. A “ religious assessor ” censored every- 



THE VATICAN AGAINST PROTESTANTISM 325 

thing published in Spain connected with Protestantism at 
home or abroad. Protestants were forbidden to hold outdoor 
religious ceremonies or festivals. 8 

Catholic Spain, except when ruled by a Liberal or Left-Wing 
government, has always distinguished herself for her hatred 
towards Protestantism, and Protestant sympathizers have been 
stubbornly fined, boycotted, and sent to jail. 

In Franco’s Spain, as in any other country where Catholicism 
is in power, the Catholic mailed fist is openly employed, on 
the ground that God has given the Church the right to use 
force as a remedy against heresy: 

We must say that material force is rightly employed to protect religion, 
to coerce those who disturb it . . . nay, that force can have no more 
noble use than this . 9 

Following words with deeds, the Church acted. In 1925, 
Don Felix Garcia was sentenced to three and a half years in 
jail simply for writing a critical article, “ like a Protestant,” on 
transubstantiation. In 1927 Dona Carmen Padin, a poor Pro¬ 
testant widow, was put on trial for repeating a Protestant 
blasphemy in a discussion with a neighbour—namely, that the 
Virgin Mary had borne children other than Jesus—and was 
sentenced to two years’ penal servitude. In May, 1945, Jose 
Morado asked to be relieved from attending Mass, on the 
ground that he was not a Catholic. His request was not 
granted. At the moment of the elevation of the Host, when 
the bugler sounded the signal to kneel, J. Morado remained 
standing. He was imprisoned. On October 30, 1946, he was 
court-martialled for die offence of “ disobedience to the sound 
of the bugle.” The prosecutor asked that the indictment be the 
punishment of six years and one day in the penitentiary. 18 

During the Second World War and after, Protestant chapels 
were attacked and looted in various parts of Spain. When 
Fascist Franco’s Spain became a full-blooded ally of the U.S.A., 
which by 1952 had supplied him with over 100,000,000 dollars, 
technicians, military experts, and war materials, “ to save 
democracy and Christian civilization,” Franco had to relax, 
although reluctantly, the strict laws against the Protestants. 

In spite of the glaring fact that the 100,000,000 dollars 
already received to keep a Catholic dictatorship in being, and 



THE VATICAN AGAINST PROTESTANTISM 


326 

the coming millions, were “ Protestant dollars,” the Spanish 
hierarchy could not pass over in silence the tiny concessions 
made by Franco, mostly for propaganda purposes. 

A Catholic campaign against Protestantism was started in 
1952. Pamphlets published by Catholic Action described Pro¬ 
testants as “ libertines, women of easy virtue, traitors to their 
country.” Cardinal Segura, of Seville, wrote pastoral letters 
giving repeated warnings against the alleged menace of Protes¬ 
tantism. Protestantism “has been tolerated to a far greater 
extent than is permissible,” wrote the Cardinal in a pastoral 
letter in March, 1952. “ Under the pretext of politics, con¬ 

cessions gravely prejudicial to religion may be made.” These 
went so far, continued the Cardinal, that Spain, incredible to 
relate, was “ advancing openly into the field of religious 
freedom.” Indeed, the evil had gone so far that, again quoting 
the Cardinal, some people in Spain had already begun to 
believe “ that all religions are equally acceptable in the presence 
of God.” 

In some Catholic countries—or, rather, in some countries 
where the Catholic Church holds undisputed sway—Catholic 
hatred against Protestantism can take even nastier forms. 

At Fonseca Magdalena, in 1950, the Catholic bishops and the 
Apostolic Vicar of Caojira closed all the Protestant chapels and 
missions. 

In 1952 the Rev. G. Riddell, Baptist missionary, opened a 
new chapel in the Plazuela San Martin, Bogota. At the first 
service a crowd massed before it and began to hurl stones at 
the windows. When the police were called, their response was 
so “ sluggish ” that the American Ambassador, Capus M. 
Waynick, a Presbyterian, had to dash there in person, staying 
at die service until the last Amen. On the following day 
there was a second attack. This time the Catholic crowd were 
led by Father Florencio Alvarez. The demonstrators, who 
were carrying banners proclaiming, “ We will not be robbed 
of our religion,” and “ Colombia is Catholic,” heaved stones, 
while Father Alvarez denounced “ Protestant millionaires from 
the U.S.A. who try to sow disunity and uproot the true faith.” 
The chapel had eventually to be boarded up for repairs. The 
U.S. Ambassador lodged a strong protest with the Colombian 
Government, reminding them that their Constitution of 1936 



THE VATICAN AGAINST PROTESTANTISM ^27 

guaranteed freedom of worship. Freedom of worship, how¬ 
ever, in Catholic Colombia, as in various other South American 
Catholic countries, exists only on paper. Taking Colombia as 
a typical Catholic country, this is proved by the following 
significant examples of how freedom of worship is interpreted 
by the Catholic Church wherever it has power. 

In 1950 Colonel Nestor Mesa Priesto, chief of the Caqueta 
territory in South-east Colombia, banned all religious worship 
other than Catholic. Police were ordered to break up all non- 
Roman Catholic religious gatherings. The newspapers said 
that violators would be fined ioo pesos (about $52) or would be 
jailed for fifty days. 11 

On December 4, 1949, all Protestants at Toribio Cauca, on 
orders of the mayor, were rounded up, arrested, their Bibles 
destroyed, and they were forced to sign, under threat of death, 
a renunciation of their faith. 12 

In Rio Manso, on May 28, 1950, all Protestants were forced 
to attend Mass, under threat of death. 

The Protestant Church schools and mission at La Aguado 
Casanare were closed by order of the Prefect, and the posses¬ 
sions of the missionary confiscated. In two places in the same 
district, two chapels were destroyed and eight other chapels 
were bombed or otherwise damaged. 13 

Persecution of Protestant ministers is by no means rare. A 
case which prompted Britain and the U.S.A. to send the most 
vigorous official protests to Colombia is typical, but not unique. 
In July, 1951, the Rev. William Courtley Easton, of the World¬ 
wide Evangelical Crusade, was seized by the local Catholic 
police while he was conducting a service in his chapel in the 
town of Maraquita. The service was in progress when a 
Catholic policeman came in and struck Mr. Easton across the 
face with a sabre. “ Another policeman then knocked him 
across the pulpit with a rifle butt and struck him again when 
he tried to rise.” Easton was taken to barracks, where “ he 
was beaten with leather straps, made to sing hymns and preach, 
then beaten up again. All the seized men [the Protestant 
congregation] were then given clubs and told to beat each 
other. Finally, stark naked, Easton was made to carry a huge 
heavy log round the inside of the barracks. There was even 
talk at one time of burning them alive.” 



328 THE VATICAN AGAINST PROTESTANTISM 

Was this the work o£ a few fanatical Catholic zealots ? By 
no means. Shortly before this typical example of Catholic 
“ tolerance,” a pastoral letter, issued jointly by all the Colom¬ 
bian bishops, incited in no uncertain language the persecution 
of all Protestants and other anti-Catholics. Indeed, following 
it, Bishop Builes of Santa Rosa issued a special pastoral letter 
against Protestants, asking all Catholics to co-operate in their 
“ extermination,” not only in Colombia, but throughout South 
America, because Protestantism “ threatened the religious unity 
of South America.” 14 

Protestants have occasionally been murdered. Since 1870, 
when Protestants were first invited to enter Mexico, over sixty 
Protestant missionaries have been murdered as a result of 
Catholic hostility. In 1930, in Peru, a Baptist missionary from 
Canada, on Catholic instigation, was stoned and left for dead. 
To consult the chronicles of Protestant missions is to come 
across countless cases of Catholic persecution of this kind 
everywhere. 

Catholic odium against Protestant missionaries is not con¬ 
fined only to Catholic lands. It comes to the fore sometimes 
in the most unexpected regions, conniving even with non- 
Christian powers—e.g. the Japanese. 

During the Second World War, following Pearl Harbour, 
all Americans, and, indeed, Allied individuals in Japanese or 
Japanese-controlled territories, were interned, Christian mis¬ 
sionaries included—or, to be more precise, Protestant mission¬ 
aries. For all Catholic missionaries—almost 7,500 of them— 
not only were not interned, but were given help and were 
even officially protected by the military and civil Japanese 
authorities. 15 

In the Philippines, the largest Catholic country in Asia, 
while this preferential treatment was meted out to Catholics, 
Protestant missionaries were duly interned; in 1944, 528 of 
them were still in concentration camps. 

Did the Vatican intervene with die Japanese authorities to 
have them set free, like their Catholic colleagues? It did 
intervene, but to advise the puppet government of the Philip¬ 
pines, which consisted mostly of Catholics, “ to continue in 
their policy of preventing certain religious spreaders of error 
from regaining that liberty to which they are not entitled.” 14 



THE VATICAN AGAINST PROTESTANTISM 329 

Which meant: keep the Protestants in concentration camps. 
This Catholic intervention was not confined to the Philippines. 
It was pursued, with few exceptions, wherever the invading 
Japanese troops set foot. 

Protestants, living undisturbed in Protestant countries, are 
inclined to dismiss as mere exaggerated fear the warnings that 
Catholicism, were it given an opportunity, would not hesitate 
to strike at them with the bitterest intolerance. Catholic unde¬ 
tected undermining of Protestantism in partly Protestant, or 
wholly Protestant, lands is also not taken seriously. Yet facts, 
when seen objectively, should dispel such complacency. That 
the Catholic Church cannot do as she wishes is true. But that 
the Catholic Church is persistently undermining Protestantism 
everywhere she can is equally true. The Catholic Church, 
however, is cunning, and as a general rule her pretended con¬ 
ciliatory attitude, as we have already pointed out, grows in 
proportion to the power of the nations where Protestantism 
flourishes, and her enmity in proportion to the weakness of the 
Protestants where she is strong. Which, when reduced to the 
simplest terms, means that the stronger Protestantism, the more 
conciliatory the Vatican’s attitude; the weaker, the more 
ruthless its intolerance. 

Catholic exertions against Protestantism in countries that are 
not nominally Catholic can vary from a tireless campaign of 
penetration to the burning of Protestant literature. 

In Holland, Catholic pressure against Protestantism, particu¬ 
larly since the Second World War, became so heavy that Pro¬ 
testants did not hesitate to compare it to a counter-Reformation: 
“ What we now see is nothing else than a counter-Reformation. 
Rome is annexing Holland.” 17 

Anti-Protestant odium can assume the most unexpected 
forms, and can spring forth simultaneously in Catholic, 
partially Catholic, and Protestant countries. E.g. it can be 
directed against what, according to the Catholic Church, is a 
typical Protestant institution: Father Christmas. 

Father Christmas is of a purely Protestant and pagan origin. 
Catholics in many countries were told. “Drop the Father 
Christmas myth, and make Christmas Catholic.” Following 
this directive to Catholicize Christmas, Catholic organizations, 
papers, and hierarchies began the promotion of a campaign 



THE VATICAN AGAINST PROTESTANTISM 


330 

directed at “removing” the symbol of Protestantism, Father 
Christmas, and replacing it by the symbol of Catholicism, the 
crib. 

The movement was conducted with increasing activity, not 
only in. Catholic lands, but also in Scotland, England, Holland, 
the U.S.A., and other Protestant countries. In England, from 
1950 onwards, great posters placarded the walls of London and 
other towns, depicting the crib. The Christmas before (1949) 
everyone taking a ride in one of Milwaukee’s 280 taxis (U.S.A.) 
found himself looking at a picture of the Holy Family; Father 
Christmas having simultaneously been “ replaced ” in 1,200 
trams and buses by the Catholic Holy Family. In the following 
years the campaign spread to other American towns. In spite 
of its obvious anti-Protestant and essentially Catholic inspira¬ 
tion, the curious spectacle was soon seen of Protestants joining 
hands with Catholics in this odd war against poor Father 
Christmas. Many justified their co-operation by declaring that 
what they did was simply to help put Christ back into Christ¬ 
mas. This was the Catholic slogan and the Catholic ruse, 
conveniently used where Catholics were in a minority. In 
countries where Catholics were in a majority, the question of 
replacing Father Christmas so as to put back Christ became a 
case of liquidating him as an anti-Catholic symbol. 

Christmas of 1951 saw an ominous example of the sinister 
meaning of this seemingly quixotic and banal crusade. In 
December of that year. Cardinal Saliege, of Toulouse, came out 
with the somewhat butchery slogan, “ Kill Father Christmas.” 
Thousands of French children, who, since the falling of the 
first autumn leaves, had been making secret plans about the 
size of their stockings, in thrilling anticipation of the coming 
of the reindeers and their rubicund driver, were shocked. 
What had Pere Noel done ? Had the American Federal Bureau 
of Investigation informed its new county, France, that he was 
a Bolshevik ? For certain truly democratic-minded Americans, 
like Hoover, Chief of the F.B.I., or Senator McCarthy, there 
was crushing evidence that Father Christmas was an old 
“ Bolshie ” (although not all children thought so). His coat 
was red—scarlet at that. His cheeks were also red. The tip 
of his nose was altogether cherry-red. 

But then, asked some potential little French “ fellow- 



THE VATICAN AGAINST PROTESTANTISM 331 

travellers,” why did the Cardinal not ask us to “ liquidate ” 
Pere Noel on previous Christmases? Had the Cardinal also 
—like almost all the seventeen French governments which had 
followed one another in the last six years (1945-51)—got a 
dollar loan? 

Some Catholic parents, although obviously taken aback by 
such unseemly political precocity, hushed them up. They 
should not be soft-hearted, they told them. They had to listen 
to the voice of Mother Church. Besides, they should not 
worry. After Pere Noel had been butchered, the Three Kings 
would arrive instead, to fill their stockings. And yes, by the 
way, the Three Kings would fill the stockings of only those 
good children who helped in killing Pere Noel. 

It was thus that, two days before Christmas, two thousand 
children banded together. Thereupon, having solemnly con¬ 
demned Father Christmas to death, they paraded through the 
streets of Dijon and halted before the cathedral. Then, having 
hung an eight-foot, straw-filled effigy of Pere Noel on the 
cathedral fence, they set about to liquidate him. 

Mother Church, however, is a compassionate mother. Now, 
as always in the past, she was loath to spill blood. ... So, as 
a further example of her charitable tolerance for all Protestants, 
she resorted to her old, honoured device, thanks to which she 
once disposed of so many of them without spilling a single 
drop of Christian blood . . . and bade the little French 
children roast Pere Noel by means of a good, red, glowing 
auto-da-fe . 18 

And so it truly came to pass that poor Pere Noel, who had 
never dabbled with Catholic theology, was burnt, to the 
hurrahs of thousands of youthful voices and the hidden tears 
of a few shy little dreamers, staring with a broken heart at 
the smoking embers which once had been their long anxiously 
awaited friend. 

M. Feltin, the Archbishop of Paris, approved: “ The Chris¬ 
tian significance of Christmas is debased by this legend,” he 
said, “ originating in the dense Saxon forests.” 

Thousands of other children, however, who did not care a 
fig, either for the voices of cardinals or for the political ties of 
sundry American loans (and this, as the American F.B.I. later 
disclosed, was because they had been inspired by Moscow), a 



2^2 THE VATICAN AGAINST PROTESTANTISM 

few hours later defied both. Having assembled before the 
Town Hall, with the crudest disregard for the susceptibilities 
of Catholic theology—or, as one bespectacled little Atheist 
sneeringly piped, “ Catholic mythology ”—not to mention the 
delicate nerves of several Committees of Un-American and 
Un-French activities, staged a triumphant resurrection of 
the so-recently deceased Pere Noel, paraded him through the 
square, and gave him a lusty welcome into the land of the 
living. 

Grown-ups throughout France soon joined in the fray, and 
their newspapers came out either for or against further burn¬ 
ings and further resurrections of Father Christmas. 19 Some 
even devoted their leaders to the defence of Santa Claus, 
comparing his burning with the burning of the vanities by 
Savonarola, the burning of heretics, and the bonfires of the 
Hitler-jugend. 20 

To dismiss this pied-piper-like incident as insignificant is to 
miss its hidden meaning. The Catholic burning of Father 
Christmas was more than a symbol of the potentialities of 
hatred of the Catholic Church. It was concrete evidence that 
the fires of the Inquisition are not dead. Indeed, that, should 
the opportunity arise, they would be used to burn Protestants 
and their works as unhesitatingly as in the past. 

This is not speculation. An even more ominous example 
occurred in Canada, also in 1951* an< 3 should make Protestants 
who are concerned with the future ponder. We quote from 
the Montreal Herald : 

Rev. Alfred Roy, a Roman Catholic priest, has admitted burning reli¬ 
gious pamphlets mailed to Baptists. The statement was made by postal 
inspector W. L. Gagne, sent to this North-Western Quebec community 
(Rouyn) to investigate charges made by the Baptist pastor, L. G. Barn¬ 
hart, of nearby Noranda. Barnhart charged that religious pamphlets 
addressed to Baptists in Ste. Germaine Boule . . . failed to reach their 
destination. Gagne said the postmaster . . . Wilfred Begin, had admitted 
holding up delivery of the pamphlets on orders from Father Roy. Begin 
has been relieved of his office. . . . Inspector Gagne said Father Roy had 
told him he burned the mail because the letters, consisting of mimeo¬ 
graphed sermons by Pastor Barnhart . . . “would give people wrong 
ideas.” 21 

The flames which burned Baptist pamphets could be 
made to burn something far dearer not only to all Baptists 



THE VATICAN AGAINST PROTESTANTISM 333 

but to all Protestants and, indeed, to all Christians—i.e. Bibles. 

Mere supposition? Facts prove otherwise. 

On May 27, 1923, Protestant Bibles were burned in Rome, 
“ in honour of the Virgin ” 22 ; nine years later, in 1932, during 
Ireland’s Eucharistic Congress in Dublin, Protestant Gospels 
were publicly burned; almost a decade later, in 1940, Franco 
had more than 100,000 Protestant Bibles destroyed and ground 
to pulp or burned. 23 On December 4, 1949, all Protestant 
Bibles were burned by order of the Mayor of Toribio Cauca, 
Colombia. In May, 1950, the Bibles of the Protestant chapels 
in the district of La Aguado Casanare, again in Colombia, 
were ceremoniously burned. 

Did Catholic fire vent itself only against Protestant literature 
or the Bible? By no means. Catholic flames burned down 
Protestant chapels with equally pious hatred, as happened in 
the province of La Aguado Casanare, where by 1950 twenty- 
four Protestant chapels had been wantonly burned down by 
Catholics. 24 Or in Spain, where in 1952 gangs of Catholic 
Action, following the direct official anti-Protestant directives 
of the Spanish hierarchy—e.g. the pastoral letters of Cardinal 
Segura of Seville, published March, 1952—after having burst 
into the Protestant chapel of St. Basil, in Seville, and after 
having beaten Pastor Santos Martin Molin, poured petrol on 
the altar and tried to set the church on fire, while in the follow¬ 
ing month (April), at Badajoz, twenty-one students of the 
Marist Brothers’ schools, after having ransacked the Evangel¬ 
ical Chapel, which the Government had kept closed since 
1949, burned all the hymn-books and other literature on a 
bonfire outside. 

Deadly Catholic flames can be made to scorch Protestant 
flesh. In 1909, at Dores do Turvo, in Brazil, a local Catholic 
priest called on the populace, who had mobbed a Protestant 
clergyman, to burn him alive. 

Nineteen hundred and nine is a long time back. Catholic 
longing to burn Protestants alive, however, has remained as 
potent and vigorous as ever. In 1952 in Seville, those same 
Catholics who tried to set a Protestant church on fire, as men¬ 
tioned above, attempted at the same time to burn its Protestant 
pastor, or, quoting the words spoken in the British House of 
Commons: “ An attempt was made to burn the clergyman 



234 THE VATICAN AGAINST PROTESTANTISM 

himself—to the shouts of ‘ the Protestants are finished. 
Catholic priests have not only urged the faithful to burn non- 
Catholics, they have burned whole families of heretics, 
slaughtered whole villages; and literally thousands of men, 
women, and children have been actually massacred by 
Catholics and even by Catholic priests and Catholic monks. 
These horrors were organized by the Catholic Church at a 
period when she thought she had acquired absolute spiritual 
and political power in the country where they were perpetrated. 
It was undoubtedly the most significant burst of Catholic hatred 
ag ains t non-Catholic Christianity ever to occur during the last 
one hundred years. 

The significance of such bloody Catholic ruthlessness is of 
such tremendous proportions because such burning and 
massacres occurred in the very midst of this our twentieth 
century—not in some uncharted region of Asia or Africa, but 
in civilized Christian Europe, and precisely in Yugoslavia 
during World War II. 

In the ordinary way, whenever the Catholic Church can 
exert even partial influence, her anti-Protestant odium can 
flare up more frequently than is generally realized, and in 
the most unlikely places. 

In Canada, about forty-two per cent of the population are 
Catholics. Catholics, therefore, are still in a minority and, 
consequently, persecution by them is not possible. Even so, 
Catholics do not hesitate to show their cloven hooves, not only 
by burning Protestant literature, but also by other no less 
significant deeds. Some of these, no matter how superficially 
isolated, portend, more than anything else, what lies in store 
for Canadian democracy should Canada become Catholic. 
Here is a typical case: 

For years. Catholic Canadians pressed their government to 
disassociate the Canadian National Anthem with the English. 
The reason? Its source was Protestant in content and spirit. 
Decades went by and nothing happened. No sooner, however, 
than Canada had a Catholic Prime Minister, Catholic demands 
were satisfied and Premier St. Laurent acceded to them. This 
was not all; in 1952 the devout Catholic St. Laurent proposed 
to displace the word “ Dominion,” as a policy designed “ to 
shake off the British Protestant connections.” 



THE VATICAN AGAINST PROTESTANTISM 335 

Jn those parts of Canada where Catholics are in the majority, 
Protestants can be openly persecuted, under the flimsiest of 
pretexts. E.g. in November, 1950, thirty-one Baptists were 
arrested and sent to jail in Val d’Or, Quebec. The charge: 
obstruction of the traffic while holding a street service. 25 

Such anti-democratic, anti-Protestant, proceedings can occur 
anywhere, their inspiration being always the same. In 
Londonderry, 200 Catholic workers went on strike as a protest 
against the marriage of a Catholic assistant forewoman to a 
Protestant. 26 

Cases of Catholic intolerance have occurred and still occur 
both in England and in the U.S.A. E.g. Catholic indignation 
in 1930 because the British Governor of Malta had opened his 
palace to three Anglican bishops. 27 Or the Catholic mob, led 
by the local head of the American Legion and two Catholic 
priests, interrupting a meeting of Jehovah’s Witnesses, 
Rochester, New Hampshire, on June 27, 1951. 

In the U.S.A., the Catholic Church, although at odds with 
the Protestant Churches, dares to talk of democracy, of 
freedom, even of religious liberty; and, indeed, goes so far as 
superficially to advocate the separation of Church and State. 
More than this, she has attempted, not unsuccessfully, to enlist 
the support of a considerable section of American Protestantism 
in her political crusades. Here the Vatican is conducting its 
fight screened behind the specious words of tolerance in which 
it has never believed, becoming, chameleon-like, almost “ pro- 
testant ” in its liberal attitude towards a society not conforming 
to its religious and political tenets. The reasons for this, as 
already indicated, are obvious: the U.S.A. is the mightiest 
country in the Western world, has become the Vatican’s most 
important lay partner, is the dominant financial power in the 
Vatican’s administration, and, last but not least, has become the 
major target which the Catholic Church has set out to capture 
from within. Hence, here Catholic antagonism is reduced to the 
bare minimum. But Catholic activities, which are ultimately 
still directed against Protestantism, are at their maximum. 
These aim at strengthening Catholic power everywhere, via 
Catholic penetration, Catholic political alliances with certain 
sections of Protestantism, and, above all, by a slow but steady 
Catholic undermining of Protestant-inspired institutions—e.g. 

M 



THE VATICAN AGAINST PROTESTANTISM 


33 6 

the American Constitution, which the American Catholic hier¬ 
archy, in an official statement in 1948, had the audacity to 
select as the target of their attack, so as to pull down “ the 
metaphor of the wall of separation of Church and State.” 28 

The same tactics were used in Canada, when the Catholic 
Premier, St. Laurent, went into power. During his stay in 
office, two significant moves were made in that direction: the 
amendment of the Canadian Constitution (September, I95°)> 
especially in the field of jurisdiction, and the proposed appoint¬ 
ment of a Canadian ambassador to the Vatican. 

The proposed amendment of the Canadian Constitution was 
particularly significant for American Protestants in so far as 
for decades past Canadian Catholics had claimed that Canon 
Law should take precedence over Civil Law—namely, that 
Catholic principles, particularly in the matter of moral issues, 
legalization of marriage, sex education, contraception, and the 
like, should replace a Constitution based upon Protestant tenets. 

The Catholic Church in the U.S.A. aims at precisely the 
same goal. Some of her exponents have already openly said 
so: “The old Protestant culture is about at the end of its 
rope,” declared Father F. X. Talbot, former editor of the Jesuit 
magazine, America, “ Why can’t we raise a tidal wave that 
will bring Catholic culture into the U.S. ? Why can’t we make 
the U.S. Catholic in legislation. Catholic in justice, aims, and 
ideals?” 28 

These are the true, ultimate, and never-forgotten aims of the 
Catholic Church in the U.S.A., in Canada, in England, and, 
in fact, wherever there are Protestants. 

Catholic tolerance of Protestantism in Catholic and non- 
Catholic countries, therefore, is but a tactical move forcibly 
imposed upon her by the modern world, but also voluntarily 
accepted as a means to achieve a goal no matter how distant: 
the weakening and final destruction of Protestantism. 

This is not speculation. The few instances of boycott and 
violence just cited are ominous warnings of things to come, 
were Catholicism to gain the upper hand. That most of the 
cases just quoted are exceptional, no one will deny. Yet that 
their implication is that, were the Vatican to have sufficient 
power, open, violent and unrestricted persecutions would 
become a matter of course, cannot be lightly dismissed as mere 



THE VATICAN AGAINST PROTESTANTISM 337 

fantasy. Today, Catholicism lacks power, even in wholly 
Catholic countries. Hence its tactics of superficial toleration. 
Toleration, however, is unwillingly adopted, “ for the sake of 
avoiding some greater evil, or of obtaining or preserving some 
greater good,” as Pope Leo XIII explained. 30 The “ greater 
good ” now is that of avoiding any open antagonism with 
Protestant nations, owing to the latter’s political and military 
powers, or hindering Catholic penetration in the Protestant 
world. 

This, it must never be forgotten, is only a temporary 
expedient. The Catholic Church is tolerating Protestantism, 
because the necessity of the moment has forced her even to 
befriend it. Catholic odium and will to destroy it, although 
hidden, are as potent as ever. Catholic Canon Laws still declare, 
as forcefully as in the Middle Ages, that all Protestants are 
heretics, that all their denominations are false, spurious, and 
execrable; that all Protestants are doomed to hell in the next 
world, and that they are still subject to all the spiritual and 
even temporal penalties of the Catholic Church in this. The 
Catholic Church must tolerate such spreaders of error because, 
as Leo XIII further said, “ she judges it expedient that they 
should be permitted.” But, he added, “ she would in happier 
times resume her own liberty.” 30 

Notwithstanding this, the Catholic Church still continues 
to wage a tireless war against them. It is a war that is hardly 
noticed, for it is conducted with the greatest discretion, but it 
is not less real because it is camouflaged. 

Catholics everywhere, for instance, are strictly forbidden to 
read Protestant Bibles and books; sing in Protestant churches, 
attend Protestant services, enrol their children in Protestant 
schools, be married by Protestant ministers. No Catholic can 
marry a Protestant without permission from his Church. A 
Protestant mother with a Catholic husband must bring up her 
children as Catholics. This is the sine qua non of her 
husband’s obtaining permission to marry her. Should either 
partner refuse to sign such a pledge, the Catholic will not be 
allowed into matrimony. Catholics are further warned about 
mixing with Protestants, or joining clubs or associations which 
treat all religions alike. The Holy Office decree of 1950, for¬ 
bidding priests to belong to the Rotary Clubs, being a case 



THE VATICAN AGAINST PROTESTANTISM 


338 

in point. Catholic Canon Law explicitly prohibits joint 
worship; and Catholics are forbidden to join international 
congresses or councils directed at the promotion of the unity 
of Christendom—for instance, the assemblies of the World 
Council of Churches, and similar bodies. 

This ostracism of Protestantism, although not of a spec¬ 
tacular kind, in the long run is far more effective than the 
many cases of persecution and boycott already quoted, inter¬ 
fering as it does with the daily life of thousands of Catholic 
and non-Catholic individuals, as well as with local, national, 
and international organizations. Such interference, directed 
at maintaining and widening religious, social, and ideological 
differences, can very often reverberate, either separately or 
simultaneously, in the social, economic, and political fields and 
on a domestic and even international scale. 

But where Catholicism is waging an even slyer and there¬ 
fore very dangerous anti-Protestant struggle is in the political 
arena. This, to be sure, is not pursued by the launching of 
any direct, obvious, or even veiled attack against Protestantism, 
either from political platforms or by “ briefing ” political 
leaders or parties. That would bring obvious peril. It is 
conducted with the most oblique tactics, and with such 
subtle cunning that it is undetected by large sections of the 
Protestants themselves. The strategy of the Catholic Church 
here is to attack Protestantism’s staunchest ally, whose destruc¬ 
tion would inevitably spell Protestant doom—namely, Demo¬ 
cracy. 

The maintenance of the democratic framework of society 
is the greatest guarantee of Protestant survival vis-a-vis Catholic 
machinations. As long as democratic principles hold sway, 
democratic tolerance will make it possible for the various 
Protestant denominations to live unhampered, with a minimum 
of restrictions or, indeed, with no restrictions at all. 

Should, however, these liberties be made to vanish by 
Catholic pressure, Protestant exertions would be restricted or 
made to vanish with them. Which means that, political 
tolerance having gone, religious tolerance would disappear as 
surely as Catholic intolerance, in the shape of political and 
religious authoritarianism, would be the inevitable result. 

It is the power of world opinion, the pressure of global 



THE VATICAN AGAINST PROTESTANTISM 


339 

political influences, the fear of imperilling precious alliances, 
but, above all, democracy in action, whether on a national or 
an international scale, which so far have prevented the Vatican 
from unloosing anti-Protestant persecutions wherever it is 
dominant. This must never be forgotten. 

To prevent the disappearance of freedom, and hence of 
religious tolerance and the peaceful existence and development 
of Protestantism, therefore, the paramount duty of all 
Protestants is to impede the Vatican from infiltrating, as it is 
so successfully doing at present, into the political life of 
nations. 

For political control, as we have already learned, ultimately 
means religious control, and vice versa, the two being 
indivisible. 

The Vatican’s global fight against democracy, when exam¬ 
ined in this light, thus becomes the Vatican’s global fight 
against all non-Catholic religion and denominations, begin¬ 
ning with Protestantism. 

Were such a fight to be lost, consequently, Protestantism 
would not only suffer; it would be hunted down and scourged 
out of existence by a Church implacably determined to 
exterminate all her opponents, without compassion and without 
mercy. - 



18 

CATHOLIC IMPERIALISM AGAINST THE 
ASIATIC CONTINENT 

T he causes of political com- 
motions, like meteorological ones, 
can be not only detected, but 
scrutinized and classified. Among the numberless factors 
which during the last decades have provoked the*sullen awak¬ 
ening of Asia, the religious ones loom prominently in the 
tenebrous landscape of Western-Eastern history. 

That the chief begetters of Asiatic rebellion are the main 
applications of science, the promoters, if not the sires, of a 
global ideology sponsoring world revolution, is probably 
correct. Besides these, resentment against the ideological and 
religious claims of the West being a paramount factor in the 
rift which has separated the Asiatic and the Western worlds is 
not only correct but a certainty. 

Today Asia is on her feet. She is on the move. She is part¬ 
ing company with the West. Indeed, she is marching against 
the West. This is not simply a reaction against foreign 
political imperialism or exploitation by economic encroach¬ 
ment; it is something deeper; it is the spiritual revolt of the 
Asian mind against the alien Western one. The longing for 
economic redress is a mighty lever. The longing for racial 
equality can prove even mightier. A spiritual rebellion 

-340 



CATHOLIC IMPERIALISM AGAINST THE ASIATIC CONTINENT 34I 

animated by the two is wellnigh irresistible. The Asian 
rebellion, besides being directed against Western wares, is also 
directed against Western ideas. For the articles of export of 
the West were not only such items as “ movies,” chewing-gum, 
and printed fabrics, but also religion—i.e. Christianity. 

But if the value of goods is best judged by the demand for 
them, the universality of lofty principles is gauged not by 
abstractions but by the concrete deeds of their heralds. How 
do Christian doctrines and practice emerge when examined 
with the critical eyes of non-Christian races? The judgment 
is unflattering and, although biased, correct. Christianity 
never meant or practised what it preached; particularly when 
dealing with non-Christian peoples. Christian missions were 
never solely Christian missions. They were invariably pre¬ 
ceded, accompanied, or followed by Western warehouses. 
Western diplomacy, and Western armies. Whichever the 
sequence, the result was eternally the same: the partial or total 
loss of the regional, national, and racial liberty of the Asiatics, 
wherever and whenever the Cross and the Western Hat had 
made their appearance. The voluntary or forced acceptance of 
both was proclaimed to be the victory of Christian civilization, 
and Christian civilization came to mean whatever tended to be 
dominant—in other words, whatever was Western—success 
very often depending on the appearance of naval squadrons off 
the coasts. 

The inseparability of the trader and the missionary soon 
yielded ample dividends—namely, the transformation of 
practically the whole globe into a colony of the West. Back¬ 
ward and highly civilized peoples lost their independence; 
their cultures were ridiculed, the colour of their skin became a 
mark of opprobrium; their past, present, and even potential 
future achievements were scorned and despised—why, their 
very claim to partake of human nature and thus to have an 
affinity with the white race was often resented. This while, 
at the same time, Western religion preached universal brother¬ 
hood, Western democracy the rights of all men, and Western 
idealism the equality of all races. 

In most of the dwellers in Asiatic towns, even of the 
4,000,000 in Asiatic villages, a peculiar conviction grew: that 
Christianity was synonymous with the West and the West 



342 CATHOLIC IMPERIALISM AGAINST THE ASIATIC CONTINENT 

with Christianity, and that their dissociation was an impossi¬ 
bility. This became a belief not only of the Chinese coolies 
and the Indian peasants, but also of the Western nations them¬ 
selves. To them all, Christianity was the religion of the West. 
It was an intrinsic part of the West. It was the West. This 
was true; as religion, whenever striking roots within a given 
civilization, soon partakes of the nature of the races forming it. 
In fact, since its transplantation from Judea, Christianity had 
become Western, and since then had become the dominant 
world religion, not through the strength of its principles but 
through the physical dominance of the White race. In spite 
of, or possibly because of, this Christianity is still spurned by 
most of Asia as being hopelessly identified with the rapacity of 
the Western world, of Western Imperialism and of Western 
“ White supremacy.” 

To think, however, that Asia has rejected Christianity 
simply because it is a by-product of the West would be 
erroneous. Science and industrialism are Western by-products; 
yet they are welcomed. Marxism is a by-product of Western 
thought, yet a few decades have sufficed to plant its seeds 
throughout a continent in which almost two thousand years 
of Christian efforts were spent with the most dismal result. 
In the light of this, Asia’s contemporary rejection of Chris¬ 
tianity and acceptance of a revolutionary ideology is of 
portentous significance. In this sense: that, whereas the former 
is spurned not only because of its Westernization but, indeed, 
also because of its eschatological message, the latter is embraced 
on account of its promises of concrete redress, not in any 
problematical future existence but in the present one, here and 
now. 

Whether Communism, as the inspirer of a world revolution, 
is beneficial or harmful is anyone’s opinion. Its phenomenal 
spreading, however, is a fact. Its girdling of the globe has 
caused incalculable repercussions. It has contributed to a 
swifter awakening of Asia, to a quicker emergence of Asian 
nationalism, to a fiercer Asian opposition to Christianity. Such 
a rejection of Christianity is not only of tremendous importance 
for Asia; it has a universal meaning. For it signifies a rejec¬ 
tion of the basic message of religion and, therefore, the rejec¬ 
tion of all religions. This rejection in its turn has provoked 



CATHOLIC IMPERIALISM AGAINST THE ASIATIC CONTINENT 343 

social and political turmoils which have reverberated through¬ 
out the world and are an integral part of the calamitous 
resdessness of our century. 

Could the mere preaching of an unadulterated Christianity 
or of the basic principle of the brotherhood of man have 
provoked such far-reaching Asiatic reaction? If not, what 
was, and, indeed what is, its fundamental cause? The reply 
is: Political Christianity. 

Political Christianity has poisoned, at the very source, 
Asiatic-Western relations. Since its inception in the Far East, 
Christianity, having appeared in the apparel of religion, has 
always emerged as a political force at the service of Western 
individuals and nations. Protestantism is as guilty as 
Catholicism. Like the Catholic, so also the Protestant 
missionaries were invariably preceded or followed by traders, 
gun-boats, or military expeditions. Political Protestantism, 
however, although guilty, cannot be put on a par with 
Catholicism. The damage caused by political Catholicism in 
Asia has been incommensurably greater than anything done by 
all the other Christian Churches put together. 

This has been due to sundry factors. Catholicism came into 
the field before Protestantism was born. Unlike those of 
Protestantism, all its missionaries’ activities were fully 
co-ordinated and had specific religious-political goals. By 
purposely employing political power to subdue Asiatic people 
in the religious field, Catholicism poisoned Asiatic-Western 
relations from the very beginning, and this poisoning has con¬ 
tributed, perhaps more than anything else, to the inborn 
suspicions of the Asiatic people towards the West, which has 
reverberated in all fields to our present day. 

The political claims of the Catholic Church upon non- 
Christian lands are inseparable from her religious ones. This 
owing to the fact that, whenever sending out her missionaries, 
her aim is to make the newly converted people simultaneously 
members of the Church and subjects of the Pope. The two are 
inseparable. As in the West, so also in the East, wherever there 
is the Catholic Church there also is the Vatican; that is to say, 
Catholic diplomatic and political interests. 

Catholic missionaries, therefore, are automatically trans¬ 
formed into political agents and ultimately become the founda- 



344 CATHOLIC IMPERIALISM AGAINST THE ASIATIC CONTINENT 

tion stones of the political power of the Catholic Church 
wherever they erect Catholic communities. As no Catholic 
individual or mission can remain outside the spiritual jurisdic¬ 
tion of the Pope, which, as we have already seen, becomes in 
the last resort political subjugation^ Vatican diplomacy, regard¬ 
less of any historical habitat, has always acted upon the prin¬ 
ciple of capturing political power via religious penetration. 
Whether in the past or in the present, in Europe or in Asia, 
this is usually done by the skilful employment of secular 
instruments whose interests run parallel with its own. 

Thus, while recently the Vatican associated itself with a 
Turkish dictator to thwart a rival Church, or struck a tacit 
alliance with a mighty Protestant nation like the U.S.A. to 
fight Communism, in centuries gone by it co-operated with 
commercial enterprises in the establishment of new trade- 
routes, or participated in schemes of territorial conquest 
executed by Catholic countries with a view to subjugating 
other, non-Christian, lands or races. Then, as now, this had 
two final objectives: the ultimate domination by the Catholic 
Church of both the subjugators and the subjugated. 

Such Catholic religious-political activities have often 
produced far-reaching effects, of a most nefarious nature, upon 
the history of mankind. They became the direct cause of 
political and military disasters in Western dealings with Asia; 
disasters popularly believed to be due merely to the blunders, 
rapacity, and short-sightedness of imperialistic nations, and 
never to the religious intransigence of the Catholic Church, to 
the diplomatic duplicity of the Vatican, or to the thirst for 
domination of both which, very often, by befouling the current 
of history, have contributed to the perennial detriment of the 
peaceful relationship of the peoples of the world. 

To prove that such an assertion is neither an exaggeration 
nor a distortion of facts, a glance at one or two typical 
examples of the nature and methods of Catholic approaches to 
Asia should suffice. 


The first intercourse with China and Mongolia, at the 
beginning of the second millennium of the Christian era, was 
of a most brazen political character. The Popes, in virtue of 



CATHOLIC IMPERIALISM AGAINST THE ASIATIC CONTINENT 345 

their claims to world rulership, sent messages to what was then 
the practically unknown Far East, asking point-blank for the 
submission of the Mongolian or Chinese rulers to Rome. This 
incredible audacity was not caused by the megalomania of a 
single individual; it was the coolly calculated plan of Vatican 
diplomacy, bent then, as it is now, on the Catholic political 
domination of the world. 

One of the first of these acts was that taken by Pope 
Innocent IV in 1245. In this year he dispatched an embassy 
of Dominican monks, led by Nicholas Anselm of Lombardy. 
Their mission: to bring Christianity to the ruler of the 
Mongols, to sign a pact of allegiance with him, and, last but 
not least, to make him publicly acknowledge the lordship of 
the Pope. 

Nicholas Anselm, after a long voyage, in August, 1247, met 
a leader of the Mongolian Army who, having received his 
message, sent him back accompanied by two Tartar Mongolian 
envoys. These carried to Rome a deliberately discourteous 
counter-message. As the Pope had sent his envoys to make the 
rulers of Central Asia his vassals, was their discourse, so now 
the Mongolian ruler did the same: he sent his own envoys to 
the Pope to ask him to become the vassal of the Great Khan 
. . . for the Great Khan also was the ruler of the world. 

Simultaneously with the first mission, however, Innocent IV 
had dispatched a second, composed of two Franciscans, Friar 
John and Lorenzo of Portugal, as Papal Legate, with full legal 
powers to make the Lord of Tartary a vassal of the Roman See. 

Friar John left his cloister on April 16, 1245, and set out to 
find the Mongol Empire, by way of Bohemia, where he was 
joined by a companion, Brother Stephen. He travelled into 
Russia and, having annexed Brother Benedict in Poland, made 
his way eastward. By Easter, 1246, they had crossed the Volga, 
and “ most tearfully we set out, not knowing whether for 
life or for death.” In July of the same year they entered 
Mongolia and arrived in time to witness the enthronement of 
the new Khan. There, to their astonishment, they found 
Russian and Hungarian priests and various court officials who 
were Christians, but not of the “ true Church ”—that is to say, 
who were not Catholic. 

The mission ended in failure, the Great Khan having 



346 CATHOLIC IMPERIALISM AGAINST THE ASIATIC CONTINENT 

received somewhat disrespectfully the demand for political 
subservience of the religious ruler of Rome, with roars, of 
unreligious laughter. The Popes, however, besides being 
serious, were persistent individuals. The laugh of the Great 
Khan, after having made them sulk for a while, also caused 
them to change tactics. Their claims this time were sent via a 
Catholic Western ruler, the King of France, Louis IX, who, in 
1249, acting as a vassal of the Pope, sent to the Mongol ruler 
an embassy consisting of Dominicans under Andrew of 
Longumeau. Its object was to present the Great Khan with 
relics of saints and to obtain his formal submission to Papal 
authority. When the Dominicans arrived at his Court, the 
miraculous effects of the oncoming relics had already done their 
wondrous work, by remote control—the Great Khan was dead. 

Catholic kings, like Popes, are also made of stubborn stuff, 
and so, in May, 1253, Louis sent out another mission. The 
traveller this time was a Franciscan friar, William de Rubru- 
quis, who departed carrying letters to the new Khan. In them 
Louis asked the Khan to embrace Christianity and to acknow¬ 
ledge the supremacy of the Roman Pontiff. After a long 
journey Friar William arrived at the Court of the Great Khan 
at Karakorum on the day after Christmas and appeared before 
him , chanting in Latin the hymn of the Nativity. 1 The Great 
Khan, after having listened to William’s exhortation to submit 
to Papal authority, asked numerous questions about France, 
the West, and Christianity, “ for the Pope’s claims had demon¬ 
strated the feasibility of putting forward similar claims ” of 
his own on France, Christian Europe, and the West. Indeed, 
he added, to the incredulous indignation of the Friar, that he 
was seriously considering conquering Rome and making “ the 
Vicar of Christ ” his own vassal. 

Notwithstanding all these setbacks, however, the Popes 
continued their efforts and soon afterwards charged the two 
daring Polo brothers, Venetian merchants, with a special 
embassy for the Great Khan. They had previously journeyed 
in China and were about to return there. 

These two brothers, now Papal messengers, set out in 1271, 
accompanied not only by the famous Marco Polo but also by 
two preaching friars, and having arrived at the court of Kublai 
Khan in 1275, after “ a tremendous journey of one thousand 



CATHOLIC IMPERIALISM AGAINST THE ASIATIC CONTINENT 347 

days,” delivered the Papal message to the ruler of the Mongol 
Empire. 

In 1278, Pope Nicholas III sent five monks to Kublai Khan. 
They vanished in the Asiatic hinterland, and no news was ever 
received of their ultimate fate. 

The Popes again persevered, and a decade later they 
dispatched another mission, led by the Franciscan monk, John 
of Montecorvino, who, having left Europe in 1289, reached 
South China in 1292, finally arriving in Peking, the capital, 
whence in 1305 he sent a favourable report, followed by 
another in 1306. He had found Christians there, he said. 
Many he had converted. The country enjoyed complete 
religious toleration. No opposition was offered to Christian 
preaching, and those who embraced the true faith submitted 
to Papal authority with humility. 

At such heartening news the Pope took an ominous step: 
the creation of the hierarchy. In the following year, 1307, he 
nominated Montecorvino Archbishop of Peking. The first 
foundation stone upon which to erect Papal dominion in 
distant Cathay had been successfully laid in the very capital of 
the Celestial Empire. Great plans were made and, soon after¬ 
wards, numerous bishops, priests, monks, and others were 
dispatched to Peking. Although many were never heard of 
again, most of them reached the Chinese capital in safety. The 
Christians began to multiply and a promising Catholic Church 
began to grow within China. After Peking, other great towns 
such as Zaitun and Yangchou, in addition to numerous 
parishes and churches, were given their bishops or minor 
hierarchs. Result: when in 1328 John of Montecorvino died, 
the small Catholic seed seemed to be about to grow into a 
mighty tree. 

This unexpected and astounding result spurred the Popes 
to renewed efforts and Papal envoys followed missionaries 
wherever these went, to extend Papal spiritual jurisdiction, 
penetrating the most inaccessible lands of mysterious Asia— 
e.g. Odoric of Pordenone who, having travelled along the coast 
of China between 1320 and 1330 as well as daring the Tibetan 
route, compiled an exhaustive report of religious conditions 
prevailing in those regions. 

The religious conquest of the Chinese, however, in the’eyes 



348 CATHOLIC IMPERIALISM AGAINST THE ASIATIC CONTINENT 

of the Vatican was not enough. It had to be completed by the 
political one—that is to say, the inescapable rule that a Catholic 
cannot but be the subject of the Pope, owing allegiance to him 
first and to the State afterwards. This had to be applied to the 
distant Catholic community of China, as it had been to Europe 
in the Middle Ages and still is applied, even if in a diluted 
form, to our very day. 

Having created the religious machinery through which, 
eventually, their political power would have been exercised— 
namely, a regular, obedient Chinese hierarchy centred in 
Peking—the Popes took the inevitable step of assuring their 
political domination and sent to China their highest representa¬ 
tive — a Papal Legate—having full spiritual and political 
powers second only to their own. 

Papal Imperialism was growing with the utmost rapidity in 
the immens e Chinese Empire. Then the horizon unexpectedly 
darkened. Communications between Peking and Rome 
diminished and became ever more difficult until, finally, they 
ceased altogether. The last were those sent by John Marignoli, 
Papal Legate in Peking from 1342 to 1346. After which the 
great Empires of Cathay and of the Great Khans were cut off 
from the West as thoroughly as though they had been swal¬ 
lowed up by the earth. The Popes grew increasingly anxious 
about the fate of their subjects in far-away Tartary, so much so, 
that, in 1370, Urban V, having decided to resume the link, sent 
a Papal Legate, an archbishop, and eighty priests to Peking. 
Their task was to relink the Church in China with Rome. 
The Papal Legate and his retinue departed; no news was ever 
received of any one of them. 

Not long afterwards, however, rumours of political 
cataclysms in the depths of Asia reached the West. Moslem 
invasions, military commotions, and the cavalries of Tamerlane 
thundering across the Asiatic continent had made the 
Mongolian dynasty tumble to the ground, and the flourishing 
Church of China, unable to withstand the tornado, was buried 
under its own ruins. 


Although neither Mongolia, nor China, nor, indeed, any 
other Asiatic country ever embraced Christianity or, even less. 



CATHOLIC IMPERIALISM AGAINST THE ASIATIC CONTINENT 349 

acknowledged the supremacy of the Popes, the latter had, 
nevertheless, by sheer tenacity and an unbounded faith in their 
unique office, succeeded within a century in opening an 
immense field of missionary activity throughout tremendous 
tracts of land stretching from the Dnieper to Tibet, from 
Persia to Peking. 

That such remarkable results were ultimately to end in total 
failure does not diminish their importance and, above all, the 
profound significance of the Papal exertions. Indeed, the far- 
flung implications of such attempts, when viewed in conjunc¬ 
tion with the ages in which they were made, enhance the 
nature and the immense scope of the religious and political am¬ 
bitions of the Popes, even when remembering that such efforts 
were motivated by an unbounded lust for political power. 

For it must not be forgotten that the Western world of the 
Middle Ages was in reality a very narrow world, and that 
therefore the Papal endeavours to bring under the tiara lands 
and nations beyond the Western boundaries formed an enter¬ 
prise which no other institution could dream of undertaking, 
even less undertake. 

The Pope’s ambitions prompted the discovery of the interior 
of Asia, produced an immense addition to the sphere of 
geography, opened almost illimitable vistas to Western minds, 
and broadened the very physical aspect of the world, to an 
extent practically inconceivable to modem man. 

When it is remembered that Papal envoys like Friar John, 
Carpini, William de Rubruquis, travellers like the Venetian 
Polos, and the various Papal Legates, notwithstanding the 
abysmal mental and physical narrowness of the Middle Ages, 
either went by land from the shores of the Mediterranean to 
Peking, and, indeed, to Japan itself, or circumnavigated Asia 
from Basra to Canton, then it should not be difficult to realize 
that at this period (about 1300) there took place a discovery of 
the Asiatic continent as exciting, tremendous, and probably no 
less important than the discovery of the Americas two centuries 
later. 

Yet, after due credit is given to the Popes for opening the 
Asiatic world, their responsibility for adulterating the relation¬ 
ship between East and West from the very beginning cannot 
pass without mention. 



350 CATHOLIC IMPERIALISM AGAINST THE ASIATIC CONTINENT 

Indeed, it is doubtful, when carefully weighed, whether 
their opening up of Asia was not to the disadvantage of both 
the Yellow and the White races. For by poisoning the first 
Western-Asiatic contacts at their very source they contami¬ 
nated the whole Western-Asiatic outlook up to the present day. 

The tremendous damage done by the Vatican in this direc¬ 
tion is not in its sending out of Catholic missionaries to spread 
Christianity, but in its use of them as the agents of a political 
Power seeking political domination of the unknown territories 
of Asia—that is to say, it used them as the vanguard of poli¬ 
tical Imperialism, resting upon and indissolubly bound to 
organized religion; in other words, the Catholic Church. 

It should be noted that the first embassies of the Popes to 
China were not religious but political. The Christian envoys 
were first received by the Chinese rulers not as Christian mis¬ 
sionaries but as the political representatives of a political Power 
—namely, the Vatican. Consequently, Christianity began to 
be interpreted as political Imperialism and was identified with 
a Western religious system which could not be divorced from 
the political attempts at expansion by Western rulers repre¬ 
sented, at first, by the Popes, then by the Catholic Kings of 
Spain and Portugal, and, subsequently, by other Western 
Powers. 

This identification with Christianity of Western political 
Imperialism implanted by the Popes in the thirteenth century 
has never been substantially denied in either theory or practice. 
From then until recently Asiatic-Western history is, with very 
rare exceptions, but a most sordid story of Western-Christian 
greed, rapacity, and injustice. The result was an intense 
suspicion, bitterness, and resentment against anything Western, 
beginning with Christianity, which quickly came to mean the 
religious softening of the Asiatic people in preparation for 
political or military Western penetration. 

Reaction to this has been written in blood ever since. For 
the Popes never ceased to send their emissaries with a view to 
extending their dominion. After the cavalries of Tamerlane 
had gone and a new dynasty had sat upon the throne of the 
Celestial Empire of China, new envoys, missionaries, embassies, 
and Papal Legates were dispatched into Asia from the Vatican 
in a never-ending stream. They did not stop only in Mon- 



CATHOLIC IMPERIALISM AGAINST THE ASIATIC CONTINENT 35I 

golia or China; they went into new regions such as Indo-China, 
Siam, Burma, the Malay peninsula, Manchuria, Korea, and 
even unknown Japan. Wherever they went, churches, hos¬ 
pitals, and schools were erected; Christian communities came 
into being, and the message of the Christian gospel was 
received with humble acceptance, supercilious indifference, 
and tacit or open hostility. 

Wherever a representative of the Catholic Church arrived, 
however, politics became sooner or later inextricably mixed 
with religion. The Vatican, always alert to the use of political 
influence to further its religious interests, took, therefore, every 
possible opportunity of using it. The result was that whereas 
at times religion benefited, more often religion became the 
main sufferer; and worse still, the poison implanted in the 
minds of the Asiatic people sank deeper. To pursue its designs 
the Vatican never hesitated to strike the most unlikely alliances, 
now with local potentates, with Western nations, with trading 
companies, or, indeed, with whoever it could use to this end. 
Such means resulted in Asiatic political set-backs, a wholly 
justified Asiatic reaction which the Christians immediately 
labelled religious persecution, Asiatic intolerance, and hatred. 

Instances of political machinations on the part of the Vatican 
occurred in practically every land of Asia during the last five 
hundred years, and in view of the disastrous effects which 
certain of them produced, it might be useful to glance at one 
or two typical examples with a bearing on modern problems. 


One of the most outstanding is that connected with France’s 
first bid for Asiatic dominions when, early in the seventeenth 
century, the French East India Company was originally 
formed. The Company’s goal, in addition to the advancement 
of commerce in the East, was to colonize the backward*regions 
of the Orient with the ultimate aim of bringing them into the 
French orbit. 

Seemingly remote, though no less concrete an aim, was the 
propagation of the Catholic faith. This last objective, although 
apparently prompted mainly by individual Catholics, was 
directly inspired by the Vatican, which backed the French East 
India Company from the very start. 



352 CATHOLIC IMPERIALISM AGAINST THE ASIATIC CONTINENT 

However, having established its first outposts in India, the 
Company soon encountered resistance o£ a strength which 
could not be foreseen, represented chiefly by the British, who 
resisted the French holdings at every step, until the French 
decided to look to other fields. 

It was thus that in the following century France, haying 
become convinced of the futility of continuing her competition 
with Britain, finally decided to turn her attention to the small 
kingdoms of Indo-China and, in particular, to Siam. The first 
exploration of the new regions on behalf of the French East 
India Company was undertaken not, it should be noted, by 
any official of the Company or by any diplomat of the French 
kingdom, but by Catholic missionaries. This was done with 
the per mi ssion and encouragement of the Vatican, which, 
under the pretence of religion, sent them to investigate the 
commercial, political, and strategic resources of the countries 
in question, on behalf of French Imperialism. Pere Alexandre 
de Rhodes, a Jesuit, arrived in Indo-China about 1610, and 
only a decade later was able to send a very accurate description 
of the possibilities of Annam and Tonkin. French Jesuits were 
promptly recruited and were sent to help him in his double 
work of converting those nations to the Catholic faith and of 
exploring the commercial potentialities of these regions for 
the French Crown. These tasks, in the eyes of both Rome 
and Paris, could not be separated, being the two most 
important stepping-stones which would lead eventually to the 
political and military occupation of these countries. 

The success of the missionaries was such that by 1659 Indo- 
China was marked as an exclusive sphere of French activity, 
both in the commercial and in the religious fields. 

Subsequently missionaries, in their dual role as agents of the 
Catholic Church and of French Imperialism, extended their 
activities into Pegu, Cambodia, Annam, and Siam. Siam, 
being the most highly developed country of the Indo-Chinese 
peninsula, was soon designated as the paramount base for the 
religious, commercial, and political activities of both the East 
India Company and the Vatican. Their design concerning its 
complete conquest was simple: each would contribute to the 
Siamese subjugation according to its means—that is to say, the 
Company through its commerce, the French Government 



CATHOLIC IMPERIALISM AGAINST THE ASIATIC CONTINENT 353 

through its armies, and the Vatican through its religious 
penetration. 

When the first preparatory steps had been successfully taken 
by the French Government’s establishment of commercial bases 
and the Vatican’s erection of missionary stations, the second 
steps were undertaken. These consisted of the French Govern¬ 
ment’s attempt to conclude an official trade alliance with Siam, 
simultaneously with the Vatican’s effort to use its spiritual 
influence, not so much by converting the populace as by 
concentrating upon the conversion of a single person: the 
Siamese King himself. It was reckoned that if this could be 
accomplished, it would then be the task of Catholic priests to 
persuade the new Catholic king to admit French garrisons into 
the key cities of Mergui and Bangkok upon the pretext that 
this was in the best interests of the Catholic Church. 

In 1685 the French Government achieved the first objective. 
Having dispatched a mission to Siam, it concluded a favour¬ 
able trade alliance with its ruler. Two years later this was 
followed by a second mission. Its objective: the conversion of 
the Siamese King to Catholicism. 

The combined Vatican-French plans, however, after a while 
became so obvious that a wave of anti-foreign, anti-Catholic, 
and anti-Christian feeling, which began at Court, swept the 
entire nation. French officials and all Catholic priests—with 
the exception of the few who succeeded in hiding—were 
promptly expelled, French commerce ceased entirely, mis¬ 
sionary work was stopped, and persecution commenced. The 
French-Vatican bid for the political and religious control of 
Siam ended in 1688. Result: for a whole century and a half 
Siam became practically a forbidden land to both. 


An even more striking instance of the use of this type of 
policy, which was to have very profound repercussions in the 
world, was provided by Vatican intrigues in relation to Japan. 

As in Siam, its diplomacy did not rely solely on diplomatic 
or semi-diplomatic instruments to gain a foothold in the 
Nipponic Islands; it used purely religious ones—that is to say, 
missionaries—in intimate co-operation with the commercial 
interests of Catholic countries; Vatican diplomacy acting on 



354 CATHOLIC IMPERIALISM AGAINST THE ASIATIC CONTINENT 

the assumption that, whereas commercial expansion meant 
Catholic expansion, the reverse was also the case. This 
reciprocal strengthening being bound eventually to lead to the 
erection of a wholly Catholic society, via either conversion of 
the population, economic and religious pressure, military sub¬ 
jugation of the country, or by means of a combination of all 
these. 

In its relations with Japan, therefore, the Vatican’s policy 
was to see that Catholic merchants and Catholic priests worked 
together so that both, by extending their own interests, should 
ultimately extend those of the Catholic Church. 

Contrary to popular belief, when Japan first came into con¬ 
tact with die West she was eager for the interchange of ideas 
and commercial commodities. Indeed, foreign merchants 
were encouraged to call at Japanese ports ever since the first 
chance landing of the Portuguese in Japan. Local potentates 
surpassed one another in opening their provinces to Western 
merchants. 

Western merchants, however, were soon followed by 
Western priests and Catholic missionaries, no less welcome 
than the traders, who set about spreading the Catholic faith in 
the new land. 

Catholic missionaries found a powerful protector in 
Nobunaga, the military dictator of Japan (1573-82), who, to 
check the political power of a certain Buddhist movement com¬ 
posed of Buddhist soldier-priests, but also in genuine sympathy 
for the work of the Christians who were newcomers, 
encouraged them to such an extent that in addition to granting 
them the right to propagate their religion throughout the 
Empire, donated them land in Kyoto itself, and further, even 
promised them a yearly allowance of money. 

Thanks to this, in no time the Catholic missions had spread 
far and wide throughout the country; converts were made by 
the thousand, and soon considerable Catholic centres came into 
being in various parts of Japan. 

Had the Catholic missionaries confined themselves exclu¬ 
sively to preaching religious principles, it is likely that Japan 
would have yielded them tremendous spiritual rewards. But 
Catholicism, owing to its religious intransigence, according to 
which the Catholic Church must dominate her members in 



CATHOLIC IMPERIALISM AGAINST THE ASIATIC CONTINENT 355 

religious, moral, social, and hence political matters, soon 
brought into play its political claims—that is to say, once a 
Catholic community was established the juridical-diplomatic- 
political domination of the Vatican came to the fore. The 
Catholic Church did not permit, as is explicit in her doctrines, 
the Japanese converts to remain the subjects only of the 
Japanese civil authorities. The mere fact that they had entered 
the Catholic Church made them also the subjects of the Pope. 
Once their loyalty was transferred outside Japan, automatically 
they became potentially disloyal to the Japanese civil rulers. 

This brought serious dangers to both the internal and the 
external security of the Japanese Empire. For Japanese 
Catholics, by virtue of the fundamental Catholic tenet that 
only Catholicism is the true religion, whenever it was in their 
power to do so, initiated religious intolerance and, indeed, 
attempted to obliterate other religions by violence. This, of 
course, meant civil strife. 

In the external field Japanese communities, by following the 
directives of foreign missionaries, had to favour not only the 
commercial interests of Catholic foreign merchants but also 
the political plans of Catholic Powers intent on political and 
military penetration of the Orient. 

This formed the basic strategy of Vatican diplomacy, as a 
Catholic Power in control of a pagan land would, by giving 
the Catholic Church religious and political supremacy, enable 
her to establish uncontested dominion over all. 

Consequently, the non-Japanese, religious-political loyalty of 
Japanese Catholics soon menaced Japan’s security. 

Not many years had elapsed since the appearance of the first 
Catholic missionaries when Japanese civil rulers began to 
realize that the Catholic Church was not only a religion, as 
they had thought at first, but also a political Power whose 
interests were intimately connected with those concerning the 
expansion of imperialistic Catholic countries like Portugal, 
Spain, and other Western Christian nations. 

The nefarious tenet of Catholicism that only the truth is 
right and that error must not be tolerated also produced its 
fruits in newly discovered Japan. For wherever Catholic con¬ 
verts were made and Catholic communities expanded, Catholic 
intolerance raised its head. Wherever Japanese Catholics 



356 CATHOLIC IMPERIALISM AGAINST THE ASIATIC CONTINENT 

formed a majority, the Buddhists and members of other local 
faiths suffered. Not only were they boycotted, but their 
temples were closed and, when not destroyed, were seized and 
converted into churches. In numerous cases Buddhists were 
forcibly compelled to become Christians, their refusal resulting 
in loss of property and even of life. 

The tolerant attitude of the Tokugawas, Japanese rulers, 
when faced with such behaviour suddenly changed, and from 
1614 onwards Ieyasu adopted a drastic new policy towards 
Christianity. All converted Japanese were ordered to abandon 
the new faith; Christian churches and monasteries were 
demolished, their estates confiscated, and all foreign priests 
were ordered to leave their missions and proceed to Nagasaki 
for deportation. 

An added reason, closely connected with the jurisdictional 
rlaims 0 f the Vatican upon all Catholics and with its political 
ambition for domination via imperialistic Catholic nations, had 
been the cause of such a drastic policy. 

A few decades before, and only a few years after the 
Catholic missionaries had been welcomed in Japan, the 
Vatican, on hearing of the phenomenal success of Catholicism 
in the distant empire, set in motion its plan based upon political 
domination. Such domination was to be accomplished, as in 
man y other cases, by the working simultaneously of two of the 
basic strategies of Vatican diplomacy: the use of the ecclesiasti¬ 
cal administration of the Church, together with the military 
power of allied Catholic countries eager to bring the cross, the 
Pope’s sovereignty, profitable wares of an exotic kind and 
commercial treaties to Japan in the same galleons. 

The first the Vatican operated under the pretence of 
co-ordinating the religious machinery of the Church, as a 
purely religious issue, as it did in China. In reality, how¬ 
ever, this co-ordination was of the most blatant character; for 
as soon as the new Japanese Catholics had been integrated into 
the ecclesiastical administration they had to obey their foreign 
mis sionaries who, in their turn, had allegiances both to the 
Pope and to their country of origin. Japanese Catholics were 
automatically pressed by their ecclesiastical superiors, in addi¬ 
tion to putting their allegiance to the head of the Catholic 
Church first, to partake of the allegiance which the Western 



CATHOLIC IMPERIALISM AGAINST THE ASIATIC CONTINENT 357 

missions owed simultaneously to the heads of their own 
Western native countries. Result: Western missionaries did 
everything in their power, and with success, to persuade the 
Japanese converted to sympathize with, befriend, help, and 
co-operate with Catholic Spanish or Portuguese merchants, 
armies, and hence expeditions, occupations, and dominion. 

This was not restricted merely to the theoretical field. It 
was a concrete, every-day, definite reality which had served 
well both Catholic and Western Iberian Imperialism. Wher¬ 
ever Spain and Portugal went, there the Catholic Church 
became dominant. Wherever the Church sent missionaries, 
there the Spanish or Portuguese merchants followed with naval 
squadrons and established settlements which usually ended in 
territorial occupation. 

The Vatican had followed this type of political penetration 
ever since the discovery of the Americas. Numerous Popes, 
chief among whom were Alexander VI, with his grant to 
Spain of all “ firm land and islands found or to be found 
towards India, or towards any other part whatsoever,” 2 and 
Leo X, as already mentioned, had in fact blessed, encouraged, 
and indeed legalized all the conquests and territorial occupation 
by Catholic Spain and Portugal in the Far East. Japan was 
included in this Papal benediction of Portuguese and Spanish 
Imperialism. 

When, therefore, Japanese Catholic communities became 
strong enough to vouch for native support of the secular 
Catholic power, the Vatican took the first important tactical 
steps in the establishment of its long-range political strangle¬ 
hold : their co-ordination, which meant that it set out to use 
the new Catholic communities in Japan as political instruments 
in its dealings with Japanese and Western civil authorities in 
its attempts to further Catholic interests. 

To carry out this policy—in 1579—the Vatican sent one of 
the ablest Jesuits of his time, Valignani, to Japan to organize 
the Japanese Church along those lines. Valignani’s design for 
a time, of course, remained screened behind purely religious 
activities and received enthusiastic support from numerous 
powerful Japanese princes, such as the Princes of Omura, 
Arima, Bungo, and others, within whose provinces he erected, 
with their help, colleges, hospitals, and seminaries where 



358 CATHOLIC IMPERIALISM AGAINST THE ASIATIC CONTINENT 

Japanese youth was trained in theology, political literature, 
and science. 

Once Catholic exertions had penetrated deep enough into 
the religious, educational, and social structures of the provinces 
of these princes, Valignani took his next most important step 
with a view to ensuring their political allegiance to the Vatican. 
The work he had accomplished and the number of Japanese 
Catholics, combined with the social and political weight which 
they already exerted, finally persuaded the princes to act in 
accordance with what Valignani counselled them to do. 
Result: they sent an official embassy to the Pope. 

When in 1590 the embassy returned to the Japanese islands 
the situation there had altered drastically. Hideyoshi, the new 
master of Japan, having become keenly conscious of the poli¬ 
tical implications of Catholicism and its allegiance to a distant 
Western religious-political potentate like the Pope, decided to 
unite with Buddhism, which owed no political allegiance to 
any prince outside Japan. 

The events which had brought about the changes had been 
indicative of the shape of things to come had the Japanese 
rulers permitted Catholicism to take root too deeply. In 1587 
Hideyoshi, having visited the island of Kyushu, to his indigna¬ 
tion and astonishment found that the Catholic community 
there had not only become wholly intolerant of other religions 
but had actually carried on the most appalling persecution of 
the Buddhists. Everywhere he saw the ruins of Buddhist 
temples and broken Buddhist idols. The Catholics, in fact, 
had forcibly attempted to make the whole island of Kyushu 
totally Catholic. When, in addition to this, an embassy was 
dispatched to the Pope, Hideyoshi made up his mind. Having 
condemned the attacks that the Catholics had made upon the 
Buddhists, their religious intolerance, their political allegiance 
to a foreign Power, and other real misdemeanours, he gave all 
foreign Christians an ultimatum whereby they had just twenty 
days in which to leave Japan. Churches and monasteries were 
pulled down in Kyoto and Osaka, as retaliation for s imil ar 
deeds perpetrated by the Catholics upon the Buddhists, and 
troops were sent to Kyushu. 

These were precedents made by the Tokugawas when, in 
1614, all Catholic foreign priests were ordered to be deported 



CATHOLIC IMPERIALISM AGAINST THE ASIATIC CONTINENT 359 

once more. The injunction was caused not only by the repeti¬ 
tion of forced Catholic conversions, but also by an even more 
serious issue. The Catholic missionaries, besides fostering 
religious intolerance among the Japanese, had begun to fight a 
most bitter war against each other. Vicious quarrels between 
the Jesuits and the Franciscans had split the Christian com¬ 
munities themselves. Japanese Christians supported now the 
former, now the latter. These feuds became so dangerous that 
the Japanese ruler feared they would lead to civil war. Civil 
war in those times spelt an even graver danger: the inter¬ 
vention of the Portuguese and Spaniards to protect either the 
Jesuits or the Franciscans. This would have led to the dis¬ 
embarking of foreign armies and hence a possible loss of 
Japan’s independence. Was this fear exaggerated? The 
tremendous expansion of Catholic Portugal and Catholic Spain 
was there to prove that the danger was a real one. The 
subjugation of the Asiatic countries they had already conquered 
had been accomplished first by the introduction of missionaries, 
who had been the stepping-stones for the coming of merchants, 
and subsequently by the sending of armies. 

The coming of the Franciscans as special envoys from the 
already subjugated Philippines in 1593 caused Hideyoshi no 
end of alarm. The Franciscans, notwithstanding the ban on 
Christian propaganda, constructed churches and convents in 
Kyoto and Osaka, defying the authority of the State. To 
complicate matters, they began to quarrel with the utmost 
violence with the Portuguese Jesuits, a quarrel which finally 
provoked a climax in 1596. What at last made Hideyoshi take 
energetic measures was a small but significant incident. 

In that year a Spanish galleon, the San Felipe, was ship¬ 
wrecked off the province of Tosa. Hideyoshi ordered that the 
ship, with its goods, should be confiscated. The order angered 
the Spanish captain who, wishing to impress or intimidate the 
Japanese officials, indulged in some boasting about how Spain 
had acquired a great world empire. To prove his words the 
captain showed the Japanese officials a map with all its great 
Spanish dominions. His hearers in astonishment asked him 
how it had been possible for a nation to subjugate so many 
lands. The Spanish captain boasted that the Japanese would 
never be able to imitate Spain,, simply because they had no 



360 CATHOLIC IMPERIALISM AGAINST THE ASIATIC CONTINENT 

Christian missionaries, and he confided that all Spanish 
dominions had been acquired by first sending missionaries into 
the various countries to convert their people, after which the 
Spanish troops followed so as to co-ordinate the final conquest. 

When this conversation was reported Hideyoshi’s anger 
knew no bounds. His suspicions about the use of missionaries 
as a first stepping-stone for the conquest of a country now 
became a certainty. He believed he detected this pattern of 
cunning conquest at work within his own empire. Only three 
years before, the envoy of the Catholic governor of Manila had 
allegedly recognized Japan’s claims on the Philippines; the 
recognition had been granted on the condition that Hideyoshi 
permit Spanish missionaries and merchants to enter Japan. 
Hideyoshi now became certain that the recognition had been 
only a ruse to get a Spanish avant-garde into his realm. 

In 1597 both Franciscans and Dominicans came under the 
Imperial ban. Twenty-six priests were rounded up in 
Nagasaki and executed. After which an order expelling all 
foreign preachers of Christianity was issued. In 1598 
Hideyoshi died, and Catholic exertions were resumed with 
renewed vigour and were continued for almost another two 
decades, until in 1616 Jeyasu became ruler of Japan and 
enforced even more sternly his predecessor’s expulsion edict. 
Foreign priests were again ordered to leave Japan, and the 
death penalty was inflicted on Japanese Christians who did 
not renounce Christianity. This persecution took a more 
violent turn under Jemitsu (1623-51), when in 1624 all Spanish 
merchants and missionaries were ordered to be deported 
immediately. Japanese Christians were warned not to follow 
the missionaries abroad and Japanese merchants not to trade 
any longer with Catholic Powers. To make certain that these 
decrees were respected, all seaworthy ships which could carry 
more than 2,500 bushels of rice were to be destroyed. The 
Government decided to stamp out Catholicism in Japan, and 
further edicts in 1633-4 an ^ in 1637 wholly proscribed all 
foreign religion in the Japanese islands. 

At this point the Catholics in Japan began to organize them¬ 
selves for violent resistance. This broke out in die winter of 
1637 in Shimbara and on the nearby island of Amakusa— 
regions which had become wholly Catholic, mosdy voluntarily 



CATHOLIC IMPERIALISM AGAINST THE ASIATIC CONTINENT 361 

but, in the early days, also by the use o£ forcible conversion. 
These Catholic communities began to arm and, led by their 
Western priests, to organize themselves in military fashion to 
fight against the Government. 

The Japanese Government, fearing that these Catholic 
groups might eventually ally themselves with Western 
Catholics and that the Portuguese might use them as a means 
of advancing the territorial conquest of Japan, taxed them to 
the point of destitution. The Jesuits, who meanwhile had 
been preparing for physical resistance, set on foot a Catholic 
army of 30,000 Japanese; thereupon, with standards bearing 
the names of Jesus, Maria, and St. Iago fluttering before them, 
they marched against the civil and military representatives of 
the Japanese Government, fighting bloody battles along the 
promontory of Shimbara near the Gulf of Nagasaki. Hav ing 
murdered the loyal Governor of Shimbara, the Catholic army 
shut itself in his well-constructed fortress and held out ag ains t 
the forces which the Japanese Government had meanwhile 
dispatched against the Catholic rebels. 

The guns and ships of the Japanese forces, however, soon 
proved too small and ineffective against the massive walls of 
the fortress. Thereupon the Government asked the Protestant 
Dutch to lend them ships for carrying the heavy guns needed 
for bombarding the Catholic fortress. The Dutch consented, 
and indeed helped the Japanese to bombard the citadel until it 
was finally destroyed and practically all the Catholics in it were 
massacred. 

The immediate result of the Catholic rebellion was the 
Exclusion Edict of 1639. This read: 

For the future, let none, so long as the Sun illuminates the World, 
presume to sail to Japan, not even in the quality of ambassadors, and 
this declaration is never to be revoked, on pain of death. 

The Edict included all Westerners with one exception, 
the Dutch, who had earned their privilege of r emainin g by 
aiding the defeat of the Catholic rebellion. Nevertheless, even 
they were put under extreme restrictions owing s imp ly to 
the fact that although they were not Catholics they were 
Christians. To the Japanese, anything connected with 
Christianity had become so suspect of double-dealing, conquest, 



362 CATHOLIC IMPERIALISM AGAINST THE ASIATIC CONTINENT 

intolerance, and deceit that the Dutch themselves had to move 
their headquarters to the tiny island of Deshima, in Nagasaki 
Bay, where they lived almost as prisoners, being permitted to 
set foot in Japan proper only once a year. The most forcible 
restrictions, however, concerned Christianity’s religious cere¬ 
monies. The Dutch were not permitted to use Christian 
prayers in the presence of a single Japanese subject. The 
Japanese had become so incensed with anything which even 
reminded them of Christianity—which, by now, represented in 
their eyes nothing but the tortuous Western device for political 
and military domination—that the Dutch had even to cease 
from using the Western calendar with regard to their business 
documents, because it referred to Christ. 

When, finally, the Dutch signed a trade agreement, among 
its seven points those connected with Christianity loomed para¬ 
mount. The agreement stipulated that: 

1. Commerce between Japan and Holland was to be 
perpetual. 

2. No Dutch ship should carry a Christian of any 
nationality or convey letters written by Christians. 

3. The Dutch should convey to the Japanese governor 
any information about the spreading of Christianity in 
foreign lands that might be of interest. 

4. If the Spaniards or Portuguese seized countries by 
means of religious machination , such information 
should be given to the Governor of Nagasaki. 3 

In addition to this, all books, especially those dealing with 
religious subjects, belonging to Dutch ships had to be put into 
trunks, sealed, and turned over to the Japanese during the 
period the ship was in port. The Dutch, who at first were 
permitted to sail seven ships a year, were later restricted to one. 

The Japanese went even further, their suspicion of the 
perversity and cunning of Christians having become so pro¬ 
found that they even strengthened the first edicts by new ones, 
making it a criminal offence for any Christian ship to seek 
refugee in a Japanese port; indeed, for any Christian sailor to 
be shipwrecked off the coast of Japan. 

To all intents and purposes Japan had become a sealed land, 



CATHOLIC IMPERIALISM AGAINST THE ASIATIC CONTINENT 363 

“ hermetically ” closed to the outside world. It remained 
sealed in this way for about two hundred and fifty years, until 
the day when Commodore Perry, in the middle of the last 
century, opened the gates of the Land of the Rising Sun in 
unmistakable Western fashion—by pointing against the recluse 
nation the yawning mouths of heavy naval guns. 4 


The political ambition of the Vatican, by causing the sealing 
off of Japan, was thus responsible for directing the history of 
Asia along a path that led to incalculably nefarious results, up 
to our very day. 

The impact of the Vatican’s distorted Christianity, which 
first left its marks upon the Far East, is not yet spent. On the 
contrary, it is still playing a role of supreme importance in the 
fostering of that Asiatic resistance to Christianity which is 
becoming ever more obviously evident throughout that con¬ 
tinent. 

A religion like organized Christianity which, while preach¬ 
ing the brotherhood of man, is shamelessly supporting Western 
agressiveness will never conquer Asia. Those most un- 
Christian deeds of the Popes of the sixteenth and seventeenth 
centuries, and of the Americans, typified by Perry’s gunboats 
in the nineteenth century and the “ experimental ” massacre of 
the atom-bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the twentieth, 
have made too profound an impression upon the Asian mind 
to be dismissed as not being the typical by-products of Western 
and Christian ruthlessness. The concrete effects of the brazen 
association of Christianity with a Western racial superiority- 
complex, Western aggressiveness and hypocrisy are there to be 
seen by all. It is because of these that, notwithstanding the 
tremendous efforts of both Catholics and Protestants, Chris¬ 
tianity, instead of growing in proportion to the increase of the 
Asiatic population, is fast decreasing. _Not only in China , 
wjjgj^Chnstiamr^anddoHa^fo^decadessim^rted^acuon 
in^epersonotkutosSn^^^^SII^S^^^^not only in 
Incfia or Pakistan ~wBch, after a two-centuries’ struggle, 
unsaddled an alien imperialism in the shape of a Western 
Christian country; but also in Japan itself, after it had been 
occupied by another Christian Power, the U.S.A., following 



364 CATHOLIC IMPERIALISM AGAINST THE ASIATIC CONTINENT 

the Japanese collapse at the end of the Second World War. 

If Christianity had ever had an opportunity of being prac¬ 
tised by those claiming to be the defenders of Christian 
civilization and all that the Christian West stood for, here was 
one. But, as always in the past so also now, genuine 
Christianity with Western Christians proved to be a myth. 
Christianity again meant Western interests. It was preached 
by a most “ Christian ” General, representing a most 
“ Christian ” power, the U.S.A., quoting not chapter and verse 
from the Christian gospels, but the ever-more-formidable 
American Navy, Air Force, their pile of atom-bombs, 
American strategic bases, and their determination to exter¬ 
minate the whole of non-Christian Asia with a view to saving 
“ Western American Christian Civilization.” 

The result was that Japan, dominated by Christians, watch¬ 
ing Christianity in action at close quarters, not only was not 
impressed but actually began to reject Christianity with 
growing firmness. There were fewer converts to Christianity 
than ever since the beginning of the twentieth century, 
although the Americans spent over 10,000,000 dollars within 
five years to make converts in Japan alone (1946-51). The 
triumphant prophecy of Christian General MacArthur that 
Japan would be Christian within a decade 5 (1945-55), and that 
of the Roman Propaganda Fide that Catholicism would 
become the dominant influence in the new Japan proved, not 
so much the failure of rash prophecies, but the abysmal blind¬ 
ness still blanketing the Western Christian mind. 

Such Western blindness and conceit could not have been 
more pithily set forth than by the false hopes raised after the 
American occupation by the demand for Bibles which, since 
the coming of the Christian occupiers, within a short time were 
selling on the black market at five times their fixed price. 
Catholics and Protestants alike looked upon such a 
phenomenon as the most astounding proof of the swift 
Christianization of Japan. Then it was discovered that the 
rising prices were due, not to the words of wisdom which the 
Christians preached and never practised, but to the value of the 
rice-paper, on which the Christian books were printed, as 
wrapping for hand-made cigarettes. 6 

Non-Christian Asia could not have shown more effectively 



CATHOLIC IMPERIALISM AGAINST THE ASIATIC CONTINENT 365 

its scorn for official Christianity and all that it stood for than 
by that small but very significant example. 

A continent into which the bloody claws of the Christian 
White race have so often been dug during the last half 
millennium could not do otherwise than contemptuously reject 
a religion everlastingly identified with Western greed and 
Western-promoted wars. 

The rejection of Christianity is portentous, not only for 
Christianity as such, or even for the West, but even more for 
Asia itself. For Asia, instead, has already accepted another 
Western message: the message of Communism. 

The sooner genuine Christianity disowns organized 
Christianity and its twin, Western Imperialism, the sooner it 
might stand a chance to compete with the new faith preached 
so recently by Marx. 

The Catholic Church, having poisoned Christianity from 
the first day of her contacting the Orient, now as ever has 
remained its main contaminator. Her stubborn promotion of 
hate crusades, her ever-more-intimate association with Western 
ideological and military aggressiveness, her unquenchable 
thirst for power, is contributing now as in the past to the defeat 
of genuine Christianity throughout the East. 

This, besides her own defeat and that of all other Christian 
denominations throughout Asia, has caused and is continuing 
to cause, the ever-widening gap which already yawns so fear- 
somely between East and West, to the dismay of the bewildered 
masses, the perennial victims of religious and military Powers 
lusting for more glory and for even more Eastern and Western 
blood. 



19 

THE PATTERN OT VATICAN 
MACHINATIONS AGAINST EUROPE 
BETWEEN THE SECOND AND 
THIRD WORLD WARS 

C ONTEMPORARY POLITICS, LIKE PEACE, 

are indivisible. The designs of the 
Vatican, transcending as they do 
all boundaries, are made to embrace, perhaps more than those 
of any other Power, not only single nations, but whole groups 
of nations and, indeed, continents. 

In virtue of this they are promoted in diverse regions, being 
simultaneously interlocked and interdependent. 

In the years following the Second World War, the Vatican, 
while fostering its grandiose plans with leading American 
forces, at the same time promoted others, no less necessary for 
the successful completion of the new joint Vatican-U.S.A. 
grand strategy. These envisaged, first the neutralization, 
secondly the strengthening, and thirdly the swift transforma¬ 
tion of Europe into a mighty fortress-continent, to serve as a 
defensive-offensive bastion for a rapidly mobilizing anti- 
Bolshevik West. 

The feverish exertions of the Vatican, initiated by the 

3 66 



THE PATTERN OF VATICAN MACHINATIONS AGAINST EUROPE 367 

tumbling of Mussolini and the attempt to remove Hitler, as 
the pattern of the post-War world began to unfold soon looked 
what they were also to the U.S.A. Result: a swift reorienta¬ 
tion of American foreign policy until this was made to run 
parallel with that of the Vatican. 

The acceptance of such an originally Vatican-inspired 
strategy soon forced the U.S.A. to follow policies antipathetic 
to the very principles and practice of that democracy it claimed 
to protect. And, more than this, to pursue policies which, 
being in accordance with the essence of Catholic tenets and 
therefore perforce hostile to genuine democracy, were pro¬ 
moted, ironically enough, by the generous use of the prestige, 
monetary funds, and often plain political corruption of the 
U.S.A. 

The pursuance of such a joint policy was not always done 
through intricate diplomatic jockeying, as instanced by the 
saddling of fanatical Catholic Adenauer in Western Germany. 
There have been cases when the Vatican attempted, as far as 
lay in its power, to foil the will of the people simply by pre¬ 
venting a country working certain changes not in consonance 
with that country’s political designs. 

This it did with varying success in more than one European 
region. Being part of the pattern of its post-War strategy, such 
exertions fitted into its grand scheme and thus into the U.S.A.- 
Vatican policy already examined. Hence they deserve men¬ 
tioning, as without them the scrutiny of its machinations would 
be only partial and incomplete. 


The ideal government, in the eyes of the Vatican, is some 
form of authoritarian rule, not excluding plain dictatorship. 
The Vatican’s predilection for some form of totalitarianism has 
sprung, not only from Catholic doctrines, which justify it, but 
also from its long experience, which has taught it that it is 
much easier to rule with the co-operation of a friendly dictator 
than through a democratic government, subject to the unpre¬ 
dictable will of the people, which often is not that of the 
Church. Where there is neither dictatorship nor authoritarian¬ 
ism, it will support the institution most resembling it—i.e. a 
monarchy. Absolute monarchy being a thing of the past, the 
N 



368 THE PATTERN OF VATICAN MACHINATIONS AGAINST 

Vatican will back a constitutional one, as a king, even when 
reduced to a mere figurehead, if well-disposed, can still be very 
useful to the Church. 

In the years following the Second World War, the kings 
who remained upon their thrones were few. The few were 
unpopular. In several nations the people decided to get rid of 
them. 

If this was attempted where Catholicism had any power, 
there the Vatican tried to foil the popular will, with the tacit 
or even open connivance of the U.S.A. One striking example: 
that of the House of Savoy’s King Victor and his son King 
Umberto. 

The House of Savoy was never very popular in Italy. It was 
even less so at the Vatican, one of its kings having in 1870 
wrested Rome from the Popes. In 1922 King Victor asked an 
ex-Socialist, Mussolini, to form a government. From then 
onwards the fortunes of the House changed. It was befriended 
by the Vatican, but became more unpopular with the people. 
After the Second World War demonstrations against the King, 
because of his twenty years’ close support of the Fascist regime, 
became so frequent that finally Victor decided to abdicate. The 
decision was most unwelcome at the Vatican, which promptly 
set in motion a policy epitomized in the motto: No abdication 
lest the Monarchy fall. The Italian hierarchy were briefed. 
And immediately cardinals, bishops, and priests began 
to urge the people to support the King. Pulpits became 
Royalist platforms, the Catholic Press Royalist organs, the 
Pope gave more than one paternal piece of advice about the 
beauteous future in store for a nation crowned by a respected 
kingship. Result: the anti-monarchical demonstrations 
increased. The King once more made it known that he 
wished to abdicate, and again the Vatican restrained him from 
doing so. Bickering between Pius XII and Victor continued 
unabated for some time, until, the political situation having 
become unbearable, Victor informed His Holiness that he did 
not want any more interference from the Curia. 

The Pope asked the King to visit him; a visit which was duly 
paid and during which the monarch was granted a Papal 
sermonizing on the duties of kings, meant to impress upon 
him that his abdication would seriously jeopardize, not only 



EUROPE BETWEEN THE SECOND AND THIRD WORLD WARS 369 

Italy’s political future, but also vaster political schemes. The 
abdication would go against the decision of the Allies, said the 
Pope. Had the King forgotten how Conservative Churchill 
had fought Roosevelt for the retention of the House of Savoy? 1 

King Victor listened to the pious Pius, heard the increasing 
roar of popular tumult, and abdicated. 

The Vatican was chagrined. Not, however, as much as it 
might have been. For, although defeated, it had managed, 
contrary to insistent popular demand, to prevent the total 
abolition of the Monarchy, which at first it was taken for 
granted would occur with the stepping down of King Victor. 
The Monarchy remained, and the Italian masses were saddled 
with another king, Umberto, Victor’s son. 

The move was meant to save the House of Savoy from 
obliteration. If the new King, who had not been associated 
with Fascism as prominently as had his father, could survive 
the initial popular storm, King and Monarchy would be 
preserved. 

At this, popular discontent grew with alarming celerity. 
The Italian people insisted that the issue of the preservation or 
abolition of the Monarchy be settled neither by the Vatican nor 
by Umberto, but by a plebiscite. The Government unwillingly 
had to bow, with the result that the Vatican soon saw its policy 
endangered even more than before. The pro-King campaign 
of a few weeks previously was repeated. The Italian hierarchy 
were briefed again, and all the vast Catholic machinery 
mobilized. 

Before the polling took place (May, 1946), the Vatican tried 
so brazenly to influence popular opinion that even the Govern¬ 
ment, whose Premier was a Catholic, judged it opportune to 
protest at the extraordinary Church intervention in the political 
affairs of the country. The Pope came again to the fore, 
urging Catholics to vote for King Umberto. Not content with 
this, he significantly bestowed on him the Papal blessing, going 
so far as to indicate that those who would vote against him 
would commit a grave sin. 

Although the most bigoted Catholics voted en bloc for 
Umberto, the popular forces defeated both the Monarchy and 
the Vatican. The plebiscite decreed that Italy become a 
Republic. 



370 the pattern of Vatican machinations against 

After this decision there should have been no further delay 
in either King Umberto abdicating or the Government declar¬ 
ing Italy a Republic. The Vatican, however, decided other¬ 
wise. As soon as the result of the plebiscite became known it 
began to exert increasing pressure upon the Catholic Party, the 
Catholic Ministers who formed the Government, and, above 
all, upon King Umberto, urging them to flout the will of 
the people. Umberto, a pious Catholic bigot, followed the 
Pope’s advice, and refused to abdicate. 

At this, popular discontent started to turn into violence. 
Both the Government and the people accused Umberto of bad 
faith. Riots occurred. The threat of civil disorder loomed 
menacingly upon the nation. Umberto, instead of heeding the 
warning, declared that he was going to stay. A bunch of army 
officers and of the degenerate Roman nobility appeared in his 
support. After a while, however, another ally, the true inspirer 
of his resistance, came once more to the fore: the Vatican. 
The Vatican not only had the impudence to justify the King’s 
action, it actually went so far as to urge the Italians to disown 
their own verdict, explaining why the retention of the 
Monarchy was so necessary. It was so necessary because it 
would serve as a defence against the forces of disorder, repre¬ 
sented by the Reds. 

King Umberto’s Pacelli-inspired, unintelligent mulishness, 
and the Vatican’s brazen siding with him, enraged the people. 
Riots broke out in most parts of the country, and talk of organ¬ 
ized popular violence unless the plebiscite was respected was 
too serious to be disregarded. King Umberto was forced to 
abdicate and to leave the country. 

“It is inadmissible to be a deserter, an emigre a I’interieur ,” 
commented, not long afterwards, His Holiness, making it 
crystal clear that for him the Royal issue was not yet closed, 
and, significantly enough, addressing the Roman aristocracy. 
“ That is the attitude of the man who withdraws far from the 
battle while his country’s fate is at stake. The just man is a 
Christian . . . who will feel it his duty to resist, prevent the 
catastrophe, or at least to circumscribe its damage. He will be 
there to rebuild.” 3 

At such Papal encouragement. Royalist agitations flickered 
again into the open; Royalist plots were hatched; an illegal 



EUROPE BETWEEN THE SECOND AND THIRD WORLD WARS 37 1 

monarchical movement soon appeared. Its immediate aim: 
the restoration of the Monarchy. Its long-range policy: the 
setting up of a Corporative State, as preached by the Church 
(read, abolition of the newly born Italian democracy). 

It may have been only a coincidence, but many Italians 
could not help noticing that almost all its supporters were 
fervent members of the Catholic Church. Also that a tiny 
group of its leaders were Americans of Italian origin, 
generously distributing lire to individuals and papers, more 
i-han one openly boasting that at the American Embassy the 
goodwill was unlimited for those who took active trouble to 
co-operate. 


One of the main characteristics of Vatican diplomacy is per¬ 
sistency. The set-back it suffered in Italy, far from reducing 
its support for unpopular Catholic monarchs, made it more 
determined than ever to repeat its attempts should the oppor¬ 
tunity arise. And, in fact, the opportunity arose a few years 
later—in Belgium. 

The issue was the return from abroad of King Leopold. 
During the Second World War King Leopold had been the 
main instrument of Belgian surrender. The surrender had 
been not only a matter of weaker military force being over¬ 
whelmed by an irresistible one. It had been accelerated by the 
intrigues of powerful Fascist sympathizers, almost all of whom 
were fervent Catholics. 

These elements—among whom were the members of a Fascist 
Catholic Party, the Rexist—prior to the Second World War had 
intrigued with Hitler, with the view eventually to setting up a 
Belgian Catholic totalitarian regime. Their chance of success 
was a good one. For, although not directly supported by the 
King, they could use his power almost at will. This, thanks 
mostly to the fact that Leopold, with little political acumen, 
was under the political thumbs of the Belgian Primate and the 
Papal Nuncio. It was the latter who, via the Primate, it can 
be said without exaggeration at that critical period, influenced 
the course of Belgian destiny more than any other person, 
including the royal individual himself. 

The Vatican’s policy aimed at preventing Belgium—as it did 



372 THE PATTERN OF VATICAN MACHINATIONS AGAINST 

with France—from siding with the Allies; or, if that failed, 
bringing about a quick surrender to the Nazi armies. 3 

The King, consequently, was invaluable .for the pursuance 
of such a policy. Previous to the outbreak of the war, he had 
been persuaded by his Catholic counsellors to refuse, until it 
was too late, to join French and British experts in devising the 
necessary military plans for Belgium’s defence. After the out¬ 
break of the War (September, 1939), but before the West was 
attacked, the Pope himself encouraged him in such a policy, 
by publicly sending him a message in appreciation of his efforts 
“ to restore peace ”—which, when deciphered, was in reality 
a blessing to all those secretly engaged in intrigues with Hitler 
(November 14, 1939). With such encouragement, not only did 
Leopold scorn the co-operation of the Allies, but, when Hitler 
invaded Belgium, contrary to the unanimous advice of the 
whole Government and flouting the very Constitution which 
he had sworn to respect, he surrendered the Belgian Army to 
the Nazis. 

The surrender has remained a most controversial issue ever 
since. Whether it was a military necessity or not, it is not for 
us to say. What, however, must be taken into consideration 
is the part played, previous to, during, and after it, by the 
Vatican’s diplomatic representatives. These—namely, the Papal 
representative in Belgium and the Belgian Primate—not only 
conducted prolonged secret negotiations with the leaders of 
the Catholic factions which wanted an accord with Hitler, but 
had protracted secret conversations on the matter with King 
Leopold himself. 

Immediately after the surrender, and before the country had 
been informed of it, Cardinal Van Roey had an extremely 
private interview with the King, lasting for over an hour and 
a half. In addition to this, it should be noted that the King, 
in spite of pressing military problems, had previously had a 
very private meeting with the Papal Nuncio as well. The 
capitulation was immediately followed by that ominous 
meeting. It was in such circumstances, and employing 
Cardinal Van Roey as his mouthpiece, that the King finally 
announced the Belgian collapse on May 28, 1940. After the 
announcement the text of two letters was published. One was 
addressed to President Roosevelt and the other, significantly 



EUROPE BETWEEN THE SECOND AND THIRD WORLD WARS 373 

enough, to the Pope. Belgium became a satellite of the Nazi 
New Order. 

At this juncture King Leopold—again scorning the 
unanimous advice of the Belgian Government, i.e. to leave 
Belgium to continue the war from abroad—voluntarily sur- 
rendered himself to Hitler. While officially a war prisoner he 
paid two private visits to leading Nazi leaders, including Hitler 
himself, to whom on one occasion he even sent a congratulatory 
telegram. 

Such behaviour shocked most Belgians, who disowned him. 
As Royal unpopularity continued to grow, the Vatican ordered 
the Belgian bishops to publish pastoral letters urging the people 
to remain united round the King, “ who incarnates still the 
principle of sovereignty and on whom rests the hope of the 
fatherland ” (Pastoral letter, 1940). 

The support of the Church lasted throughout the War, 
while, it should be noted, the King indirectly, through some of 
his most trusted friends (e.g. his Secretary, Count Capelle), 
dealt not only with collaborationist and Nazi journalists, but 
with the Catholic Fascist Party, the Rexists, who went so far 
as to form a Catholic Walloon unit, which fought side by side 
with the Nazis on the Russian Front. 

At the end of the War, in 1945, the Belgian Parliament 
passed a law which declared that the King was “unable to 
reign,” and set up a Regency. One morning, however, after an 
absence of six years, Leopold landed at a heavily guarded air¬ 
field and drove through the streets—lined exclusively with 
8,000 troops and police—to his quarters (July, 1950). 

As soon as his arrival became known—the Primate had been 
informed of it two days previously—the bells of Brussels 
Cathedral and of most churches rang peals of welcome. A 
nation-wide campaign in favour of the King was promptly 
promoted by the hierarchy. A divine service at the Cathedral 
in Brussels, attended by Catholic members of the Government 
and most of the King’s Catholic supporters, was solemnly cele¬ 
brated. During the service, shouts of “ Leopold, Leopold, Vive 
le Roi!” echoed repeatedly, while the clergy throughout 
Belgium gave public thanks to God for the King’s return. 

Most of the Government, with the exception of the Catholic 
Ministers, resigned in protest. Outside die churches demon- 



374 The pattern of Vatican machinations against 

stxations against Leopold and his Catholic supporters broke out 
throughout the country. Railway lines were damaged, signal 
wires were cut. Within twenty-four hours thirty-two separate 
acts of sabotage, including twenty bomb explosions, had taken 
place. Violence became widespread, street battles grew, people 
were wounded, and many were killed. The Government took 
drastic measures. Gatherings of more than five people were 
prohibited. All Forces’ leave was stopped. Occupation troops 
were brought back from Germany, while army units were put 
on a war footing and the mobilization of civilians was con¬ 
templated. 

The nation was soon split to a degree never known before, 
and Belgium found itself on the brink of a terrible civil war. 

The opposition came not only from the streets; it was no 
less determined among the Deputies, Ministers, and former 
Prime Ministers. M. Spaak, a former Premier, denounced the 
King as unwanted and unfit to rule, having “the habit of 
listening to other advisers than to the politicians.” This last 
accusation did not refer to the King’s past. It was a direct 
reference to the present. Leopold, in fact, had returned on the 
advice of the Vatican, where the move had been planned, in 
concert with the Catholic Party and the Catholic hierarchy of 
Belgium. 

After Leopold’s return, referendums were held, all of which 
left the issue in doubt, owing mostly to the Church having 
purposely stultified the voice of the people by religious- 
political pressure from the pulpits and the Catholic Press, and 
the promotion of a tremendous pro-Leopold campaign. The 
King’s stubbornness and the Church’s support infuriated the 
otherwise moderate Belgians. Popular demonstrations grew in 
violence. More people were killed. Several Catholic leaders, 
including some bishops, advised caution. As a reply, the 
Vatican ordered the Belgian hierarchy to continue their pro- 
King agitation. 

When, finally, the situation became unbearable, the King 
himself, like his Italian colleague, decided to abdicate. The 
Vatican, the real source of resistance, asked him not to give 
way as the popular will in the end would have to yield. The 
King wavered and stayed on. Popular violence increased once 
more. Leopold’s Catholic advisers—the most prominent of 



EUROPE BETWEEN THE SECOND AND THIRD WORLD WARS 375 

whom were, as always, members of the Belgian hierarchy and 
their lay representatives—urged him to be firm, going so far 
as to counsel him to curb popular hostility with force, if 
necessary. The King, realizing that this would have meant 
civil v/ar, at last decided to lay the responsibility with the man 
who was its real promoter, the Pope, and went personally to 
Rome (June n, 1950), where he was received in private audi¬ 
ence by Pius XII, with whom he discussed the whole situation. 
Pius XII, that saintly lover of democracy, once more urged the 
King to resist. This time, however, with a proviso “ to accept 
certain constitutional changes,” so as to appease certain liberal 
supporters. 

The jfious Leopold, fortified by the Pope’s good advice and 
by his Holy Year visit to the Roman Basilicas, returned to 
Belgium, and, in spite of the saintly Pius XIFs admonition that 
he must cling to the Belgian throne, cost what it might, even 
civil war, abdicated. His son, Baudouin, succeeded him. 
Leopold went, but by so doing saved the Monarchy. 

A few days later one of King Leopold’s fiercest opponents, 
Julien Lahaut, President of the Communist Party, caused an 
uproar, while Prince Baudouin was being sworn in as head of 
the State, by shouting “ Vive la Republique! ” Shortly after¬ 
wards two men drove up to his house in a car. Their knock 
at the door was answered by Lahaut himself. Four shots were 
fired into his head (August 19, 1950). One hundred thousand 
workers went on strike at the news of the assassination. During 
the funeral another of the Party’s leaders was shot. There 
were more riots and demonstrations. The assassins, two 
Catholic Monarchists, were permitted to escape and were never 
arrested. 

Only shortly before, the real inspirer of the Belgian crisis, 
Pius XII, had uttered some significant words: 

Those who arouse the masses and provoke rebellions . . . must under¬ 
stand that the justice demanded by Christian principles is achieved not 
through force and violence, but with the application of Law . 4 

The lips which uttered them were those of a dangerous 
hypocrite. And this had been convincingly demonstrated by 
the role which that same Pope had played not long before in 
Italy, in 1948, during that country’s fateful general election. 



2^6 THE PATTERN OF VATICAN MACHINATIONS AGAINST 

The preservation of monarchies or the retention of kings 
prompted the Vatican to operate in a very restricted diplomatic 
field. The promotion of its policy, therefore, having been 
conducted on the highest level, had little scope for directly 
stultifying the will of the people, which the Vatican attempted 
to by-pass obliquely and undetected. 

There have been cases, however, when the Vatican has tried 
—and, in fact, successfully—deliberately to clog the wheels 
of a working democracy. In one case, it did this to prevent an 
inimical political party from going into power, to retain a 
subservient government in office, and, last but not least, to 
further its vigorous anti-Communist political strategy in 
Europe. 

Since its post-War promotion of this policy, the prospect of 
a general election in Italy had been contemplated with the 
gravest anxiety at the Vatican, whose exertions to avert it had 
resulted only in increasingly perilous postponements which had 
put the electorate in a rising, dangerous mood. The Govern¬ 
ment, to avoid a popular explosion, finally fixed the date: some 
time in 1948. 

The Catholics had been in power—although, for brief 
periods, only partially—practically since the end of the Second 
World War, their leader, the former Vatican Librarian, having 
been Premier almost uninterruptedly since the beginning. 

The gloom entertained at the Vatican, and consequently in 
Washington, about the result of the election was justified by the 
fact that Italy, the seat of the Catholic Church, significantly 
enough harboured the largest single Communist Party in the 
world outside Soviet Russia (2,300,000; in 1952, 2,700,000). 
When to this were added the Socialists, who were playing with 
the idea of a coalition with the Communists, the chance of the 
Catholic Party receiving a new mandate to form the govern¬ 
ment was very small indeed. 

The failure of a Catholic return would have had the gravest 
repercussions, in that Italy, a keystone in the anti-Communist 
defence system, if Communist-dominated would have im¬ 
perilled the whole anti-Russian defence framework of America 
and the Vatican. 

Viewed in this light, the election became not only a domestic 
issue but also an important international one, upon whose 



EUROPE BETWEEN THE SECOND AND THIRD WORLD WARS 37 ? 

results the grand strategy of the two most powerful political 
units of the world outside Russia—the U.S.A. and the Vatican 
—had come to depend. Hence the necessity that the Left be 
defeated. 

This could be done by cowing the electorate to vote for the 
Right—i.e. for the Catholic Party. 

The Vatican set out to do things on a really big scale. 
Religious, semi-religious, semi-political Catholic organizations, 
led by Catholic Action, that religious-political mongrel, were 
mobilized with unprecedented energy throughout the country. 
The President planned the political strategy with Pius XII, who 
put at his disposal almost unlimited monetary funds. Special 
bodies, set up superficially through Catholic Action to swing 
the election according to the Vatican’s will, came into being— 
e.g. the National Civic Committees. 5 

These were so successful in 1948 that later, in 1952, P°P e 
enlarged their scope by strengthening them with further 
monetary and religious-political power, with a view to having 
them repeat the same feat during the Italian general election 
of 1953? for which event Pius XII started a crusade early in 
1952. 5 Moreover, he planned its promotion in other countries 
as well, and for that purpose the N.C.C. President was pro¬ 
moted Secretary of the International Congress for Catholic 
Action. 6 

In addition to this, the Catholic Press and various Catholic 
organizations, including the Catholic Party, were mobilized to 
an extent comparable only with the mass propaganda of the 
defunct Fascist regime. This can be judged by the fact that 
some Catholics became so inflamed with religious-political 
fanaticism that, at this period and subsequently, political assas¬ 
sinations of Communists were attempted and carried out—for 
example, a Catholic attempted to assassinate Togliatti, the 
Communist leader, wounding him so badly that he lay between 
life and death for several months. Parish churches and cathe¬ 
drals echoed with political speeches; bishops, cardinals, and 
parish priests urged Italians to vote for the Catholic Party lest 
the Bolsheviks plunge the country and the world into chaos. 
When, after weeks of such fear-implanting campaigns, the 
climax drew near, the Pope himself came to the fore and told 
preachers in Rome: 



37 § THE PATTERN OF VATICAN MACHINATIONS AGAINST 

It is your right and duty to draw the attention of the faithful to the 
extraordinary importance of the coming elections, and to the moral 
responsibility which follows from it for all those who have the right of 
voting . 7 

Not content with this, he took the unprecedented step of 
directly addressing the electors: 

The voice of conscience imposes on every sincere Catholic the necessity 
of giving his own vote to those candidates who offer truly adequate 
guarantees for the protection of the rights of God [he declared]. In 
the present circumstances ... it is stricdy obligatory for whoever has 
the right to take part in the elections. He who abstains, commits 
thereby a grave sin, a mortal offence . 7 

Religious terrorization had been once more brazenly used 
to promote the Vatican’s political plans. 8 

This was supplemented, incredible as it may sound, by a 
no-less-ominous mobilization—that of a substantial portion of 
the U.S.A., with the precise purpose of putting pressure upon 
the Italian electors. The campaign, operated by the American 
hierarchy, clergy, Press, and Catholic organizations, had two 
objectives: to stir the already hysterical anti-Communist fear 
within the U.S.A., so as to spur non-Catholic forces to side with 
the Vatican in its fight against the Reds in Italy, and to persuade 
Americans, particularly Catholics, to take part in a mass drive 
from the U.S.A. to influence the electorate in Italy. This drive 
consisted of letter-writing. Catholics had to write to relations, 
friends, or, indeed, anyone in Italy, urging them to vote against 
the Reds. Result: the Italian electors were inundated with 
missives requesting them to heed such advice. To make them 
even more persuasive, food parcels were promised to the 
recipients, and within a few weeks over 1,500,000 parcels 
reached Italian homes. 

But this was only the spectacular side of the American inter¬ 
vention. A less publicized but more effective campaign had 
been running parallel with it. The Vatican’s and the Ameri¬ 
can hierarchy’s mobilization of powerful financial and political 
forces, with a view to persuading them to intervene in the 
Italian election—this to be done by pressure upon influential 
Italian politicians, newspapers, and personages in public life. 

The secret stultification of Italian democracy was promoted 
by none other than the official representative of the U.S.A. 



EUROPE BETWEEN' THE SECOND AND THIRD WORLD WARS 379 

The American Ambassador in Rome, in fact, received precise 
instructions from Washington not to spare either promises or 
dollars, provided things went according to plan. J. C. Dunn 
spared neither. Secret dollar funds were distributed profusely 
to Italian politicians, Catholic, Liberal, and Socialist party men 
and movements. An extraordinary number of moribund 
papers became suddenly financially extravagant. The well- 
informed Osservatore Romano pontificated that their sudden 
prosperity was due to Divine, or rather Catholic, Providence, 
although in Washington her true function by that time had 
become so well known that even the dullest office boys of the 
State Department felt an obvious ennui at the slightest mention 
of her saintly buttocks having been branded with a red-hot 
American dollar. 

Providence soon helped J. C. Dunn, in the shape of the State 
Department, which conferred upon him the Distinguished 
Service Award, plus, later on, an “accolade from Secretary 
Dean Acheson,” for his “ work ” during the Italian elections 
of 1948. 

As if this were not sufficient, private organizations, mostly 
Catholic—although non-Catholic ones were also very promi¬ 
nent—sank vast monetary funds in the campaign. Indeed, 
American individuals did not hesitate to spend great sums to 
buy Italian electors. One of the most zealous of these came to 
the fore with a most feverish vigour. He was the most 
astounding supporter of Vatican anti-Bolshevik strategy, one 
of its main advocates with the U.S. Government, and, 
indeed, the most fanatical co-ordinator of Vatican-American 
post-War policy. For years he had used all his power, both in 
his official and in his private capacity, to check and destroy the 
Reds at home, in Europe, in Asia, and, indeed, wherever they 
could be found. He specialized in open and secret interference 
in the internal political life of foreign countries, which he con¬ 
sidered it his duty to do, as an enemy of Bolshevism and as a 
Catholic. In 1947, for instance, he had had 18,000 dollars 
flown overnight to Paris by an American Intelligence officer, 
to bribe a Communist leader to end the French Transport 
strike. This man, Catholic born, was so determined upon the 
annihilation of the Reds that he wanted nothing less than 
“ the custody of the atomic bomb.” To that effect he pestered 



380 THE PATTERN OF VATICAN MACHINATIONS AGAINST 

President Truman to hand the bombs to the military. To get 
the atom bombs passed over to “ the military ” and thus to 
him, he intrigued within and outside the Government, until 
finally Truman had to stop him by over-ruling him, on the 
ground that he did not want to leave “ some lieutenant-colonel 
to decide when it would be the proper time to drop one.” 9 

When the Italian election arrived, therefore, this dynamic 
crusader could not but intervene full tilt. He unscrupulously 
used his official position to give instructions to American per¬ 
sonnel in Italy to put pressure upon Italian elements, tied by 
financial, economic, and political ties to the U.S.A. Not 
content with this, he put his hand in his pocket and disbursed 
no less than 54,000 dollars of his private income to bribe, 
corrupt, and influence Italian electors, papers, and politicians. 

His name? One of the highly placed personages of the 
government of the United States of America, whom we have 
already met: James Forrestal, the American Secretary of 
Defence. 

When, finally, the polling day arrived, in addition to 
organizing public prayers, the Vatican mobilized the Catholic 
population to such an extent that the sick were compelled to 
allow themselves to be taken to voting posts. The very nuns 
of perpetual enclosures were made, for the first time in history, 
to go out into the world with the sole object of casting their 
votes in accordance with the wish of the Church. 

The election went as the Vatican and the U.S.A. had desired. 
In the U.S.A. it was openly called “ an American victory.” 
In Italy, and, indeed, throughout the Catholic world, it was 
called one of the most “ outstanding triumphs ” of the Vatican. 
Cardinals, bishops, and the whole hierarchy openly thanked 
the Pope for having defeated the Reds. The Pope himself 
could not remain silent, and during an address—significantly 
enough, delivered to American newspapermen—he said: 

You have just witnessed the passing of a day that will be memorable 
in the annals of Italian history. An entire people has given proof of its 
grave sense of civic duty. But that day has also quickened the confi¬ 
dence of all Europe. Yes, and the whole world. Messages reaching us 
from every continent tell us how our children have turned at this crucial 
moment to the infinite God, with prayers that He come to the defence 
of His cause against error and injustice.. . , 10 



EUROPE BETWEEN THE SECOND AND THIRD WORLD WARS 381 

Shortly afterwards, that zealous defender of Western 
Christian civilization, James Forrestal, on hearing an aircraft 
overhead, dashed along a Washington street with a most 
fateful message. “ The Russians are coming, the Russians 
have invaded us!” he shouted, pointing at the aircraft, 
a peaceful American air-liner. Later, notwithstanding the 
assurance of Pius XII that the Italian elections had “ quick¬ 
ened the confidence of all Europe, yes, and the whole 
world,” the American Secretary of Defence jumped from a 
window on the sixteenth floor in the American capital, to 
escape the pursuing Reds, and was instantly killed. 11 The 
Vatican’s and the American dinosaurian Press’s fear-propa¬ 
ganda had obtained another spectacular result, besides that of 
the Italian general election. 


One day during the last century a harassed youth ran 
anxiously about his neighbourhood searching for the Catholic 
priest to administer the last sacraments to his dying mother, a 
meek Socialist. The priest, thoroughly imbued with the spirit 
of Papal encyclicals about Liberalism and Socialism, after 
having listened refused to go, saying: “Let this Socialist 
perish with no sacraments.” 12 The youth swore to fight for 
the rest of his life a Church who could exude so uncharitable 
a spirit. 

In 1886, following the discovery of a plot to kill Tsar 
Alexander III, this same youth was exiled to Siberia for seven 
years, while other revolutionaries, among them Alexander 
Ulyanov, Lenin’s brother, were hanged. The youth thereupon 
added another oath to his first one: eternal hatred for Czarist 
Russia. His name, Joseph Pilsudski. 

After the First World War, which made Poland indepen¬ 
dent, Pilsudski, now a famous man, set himself to fulfil three 
main goals: the creation of a Poland fit for Polish gentlemen 
and Catholic bishops to rule; the turning of Poland into a 
devoted fief of the Catholic Church; and the mobilization of 
Poland against her neighbour, Bolshevik Russia. 

For Pilsudski had greatly changed. The oath he took after 
his mother’s death to fight the Catholic Church was forgotten. 
It was forgotten with the help of the Catholic Church herself. 



382 THE PATTERN OF VATICAN MACHINATIONS AGAINST 

This the Church achieved simply by joining with him in his 
hatred for Russia. Since his rejection of Socialism and 
Russia’s acceptance of Bolshevism, Pilsudski’s Russophobia had 
increased beyond countenance. The Catholic Church, being 
the fiercest hater of both, Pilsudski sided with her. It was an 
alliance which lasted to the end. 

In 1926 Pilsudski, after a bloody struggle against the legal 
government of the great peasant leader Witos, seized power by 
armed rebellion, imprisoned the leaders of the majority parties, 
and set up a dictatorship. This, in order to transform Poland 
into an ideal Poland, “ for Polish gentlemen, Army colonels, 
and Catholic bishops to rule.” 

The Catholic Church had helped him mightily. Hence a 
reciprocal love, to be shared by all patriotic Poles. In Pilsud¬ 
ski’s Poland the day began and ended for every Polish soldier 
with common prayers by his whole unit. Every event started 
with Mass, which was compulsory. Communion was organ¬ 
ized; military vicars were attached to every garrison; Army 
bishops were nominated. 

The Church was given vast properties. And the Pope, a 
former Papal Nuncio in Warsaw, in exchange ordered all the 
Polish hierarchy to give their loyal backing to Pilsudski’s 
dictatorship. 

Pilsudski would have deserved perennial Catholic gratitude 
for all the foregoing. But, in the eyes of the Mother Church, 
Pilsudski had come to represent more than a mere protector of 
her interests inside Poland. Pilsudski had sworn besides to 
fight, to dismember, and, indeed, to destroy Bolshevik Russia. 
In such a role he was reckoned one of the main pillars of 
Vatican grand strategy, and was nursed, protected, and helped 
accordingly. 

In the spring of 1920 Pilsudski launched an unprovoked 
attack against a hopelessly weak Russia, and invaded her, with 
the blessing of the Papal Nuncio and the support of the 
Western Allies. The moment was well chosen. The Bol¬ 
sheviks were already fighting for their lives on three fronts, 
against the White armies of Kolchak, Denikin, and Wrangel. 
Pilsudski, advised by the military men of the then strongest 
military Power to emerge from the First World War—e.g. 
General Henrys, of France—planned to exploit the Bolshevik 



EUROPE BETWEEN THE SECOND AND THIRD WORLD WARS 383 

preoccupation with Wrangel and to seize the Russian Ukraine 
west of the Dnieper; to occupy White Russia and to extend the 
frontiers of Poland until they stretched from Danzig to Odessa. 
His grand objective: with Wrangel pressing in the Crimea, 
the whole Bolshevik system would collapse, and Poland, “ a 
country fit for gentlemen and Catholic bishops to rule,” would 
become the only strong power in a “ Balkanized ” Russia. 

Following the First World War, a coalition of Allies— 
including France, the most redoubtable military Power of the 
West—sent their generals, one of whom was the pious, Jesuit- 
trained Weygand, to help Pilsudski destroy Russia. 

Following the Second World War a coalition of Allies— 
led by the U.S.A., the most redoubtable military Power of the 
West—set the whole of the Western world afoot to make 
Pilsudski’s dream a reality. It is ominous that, whereas in the 
political and military fields the U.S.A. supplanted France, in 
the ideological Poland’s inspirational ally remained the same: 
the Vatican. 

As in the case of Western Europe, so also here Vatican- 
American grand strategy ran parallel. This spelt, in addition 
to an indissoluble political Vatican-American co-ordination, 
Vatican-American espionage, sabotage, and joint promotion of 
anti-Communist underground movements. These were begun 
in an exceptionally vigorous manner as soon as a new Polish 
Provisional Coalition Government was formed in 1945. The 
Vatican not only declared such a government “ illegal it 
promoted a veritable war against it. The vast Catholic 
machinery was mobilized throughout the country. Political 
forces worked hand-in-hand with the Catholic hierarchy for 
the downfall of the new Polish administration. All this while 
the Vatican operated in the Western capitals so as to have the 
new Poland boycotted in the international field. 

The objectives of the Vatican at this period were two: a 
religious one, the overthrow of the Government and its replace¬ 
ment by a Catholic one; and a political, the satellization of 
Poland—that is to say, the embodiment of Catholic Poland 
within a vast political orbit in Central Europe, conceived and 
supervised by the Vatican, in conjunction with other Central 
European countries. 

The latter objective was the very pivot of Vatican political 



384 THE PATTERN OF VATICAN MACHINATIONS AGAINST 

scheming in connexion with the role to be played by a 
“ liberated ” Catholic Poland “ when Russian domination had 
ended.” This meant that, besides the domestic Catholicization 
of Poland after the Second World War, Poland would simul¬ 
taneously be subordinated to the vast political plans of the 
Vatican and hence of the U.S.A. The exertions of both, since 
the failure of these designs, were directed at reaching such 
goals. Hence their short-range policy aiming at, in the 
domestic field, {a) the overthrow of the Communist regime 
and (b) its replacement by a Catholic one; in the external 
field, the transformation of Poland into a pawn, to be used on 
the great Vatican-American dominated chequer-board of 
Western politics. 

The belief of many Polish Catholic individuals that the 
Vatican has Polish interests at heart is so pathetic as to border 
on total political blindness. The Vatican has always followed 
its own interests. This rule it has unscrupulously applied, not 
only to Catholic Ireland, as we have already seen, but equally 
to Catholic Poland ever since she became a Christian country. 

Without going back into the centuries, suffice it to say that 
during the 150 years between the first partition of Poland and 
her resurgence as a sovereign State in 1918, the Poles could 
never get support from the Vatican during their many bloody 
risings against the Czar. This sounds almost incredible when 
it is remembered that the Czar was also the head of the 
“heretic” Orthodox Church, while Poland was one of the 
most Catholic countries in the world. Yet a closer examination 
of the international chequer-board of European politics in 
those times clearly shows that the reason was the Vatican’s 
jockeying for political power among the great empires of that 
century. Such disregard for Poland’s welfare went so far that 
Pope Gregory XVI, at the time of the first revolt in 1831, for 
instance, as well as Pope Leo XIII later on, took the side of 
Poland’s oppressors. 

This hurt the Poles to such an extent that many became very 
bitter against the Pope. Indeed, one of their greatest national 
poets, Julius Slowacki, was so incensed that he sang a poem 
which was to become an unprecedented challenge to the 
political scheming of the Vatican: “Poland, thy doom comes 
from Rome.” 



EUROPE BETWEEN THE SECOND AND THIRD WORLD WARS 385 

Such a slogan has never been forgotten by the Poles, many 
of whom have always been aware that their national aspirations 
seldom receive the benediction of the Vatican. This was 
proved as late as the First World War, when Roman Dmowski, 
having gone to Rome to ask for help in his plan for an inde¬ 
pendent Poland, was greeted with disfavour, if not hostility. 
Roman Dmowski, later leader of the Polish Nationalists, 
although a devout Catholic, consistently warned his fellow- 
countrymen: “Never rely upon the Vatican in political 
affairs.” 

A similar warning was given by Colonel Beck, for many 
years Polish Foreign Minister until the outbreak of the Second 
World War. After Hitler had attacked and occupied Poland, 
Colonel Beck, watching the disaster into which his country 
had fallen, uttered the following significant words: 

One of those mainly responsible for the tragedy of my country is the 
Vatican. Too late do I realize we have pursued a foreign policy for the 
Catholic Church’s own ends. We should have followed a policy of 
friendship with Soviet Russia and not one of support of Hitler . 13 

A further striking example of Vatican unscrupulousness in 
sacrificing Poles to further its own political schemes occurred 
during the Second World War, when Pius XII, from a cautious 
support of Nazism, switched to blatant wooing of the winning 
side. 

This scheme consisted in manceuvring Poland in such a way 
as to enable only Polish Catholics to seize power immediately 
they were liberated. It culminated in the tragic rising of 
Warsaw in 1944, when thousands of lives were lost because of 
the Catholic insurgents’ decision to impede the Reds from 
getting into key positions and to hinder the Russian armies, 
then approaching the Polish capital, from “ liberating ” 
Catholic Poland from the Nazi occupation. 

The tragedy of Warsaw, however, instead of deterring its 
promoters, spurred them to renewed efforts. Underground 
movements were organized to give Poland the right govern¬ 
ment. This in order to ensure that Poland, once ruled by 
Catholics, would play her pre-War role, (a) as a super-Catholic 
State where the Church would be supreme, and ( b ) as the 
promoter of a Central European anti-Soviet bloc, allied to the 
Western powers. 



386 THE PATTERN OF VATICAN MACHINATIONS AGAINST 

One of the chief organizers of such underground units: 
General Okulicky, Commander of the Polish Home Army, 
who began his activities during the Warsaw uprising. ^ A 
Soviet victory over Nazi Germany,” Okulicky stated, . will 
place all Europe in fear. It is clear that we should be in the 
front row of this anti-Soviet bloc.” u 

As a reply Russia, the following year, confounded Okulicky s 
supporters—i.e. Polish-Catholic-Western forces—by disavow¬ 
ing the exiled Polish Government in London. In the spring 
of 1945 this was followed by the formation of a new Left-Wing 
government in battered Poland. The new Coalition Govern¬ 
ment was in due course reluctantly recognized by almost all 
the Western Powers. Not so by the Vatican, which, ostrich- 
fashion, simply refused to face the facts, granting full recog¬ 
nition to the former Catholic Polish Government in London, 
represented at the Vatican by an official ambassador. 

If the Vatican’s obtuseness had been limited to non-recog¬ 
nition, its refusal would not have unduly preoccupied Poland. 
But the Vatican ordered all the Polish hierarchy inside Poland 
to follow suit. Led by Cardinal Hlond, their conduct created 
serious complications, and the repeated efforts of the govern¬ 
ment to settle the pressing problems of the changed relation¬ 
ship of Church and State were haughtily spurned. This, 
however, was not all. The Polish hierarchy, besides, inciting 
the people to rebellion, started to spin various political intrigues 
in and outside Poland, with a view to bringing about the 
downfall of the government. 

In the summer of 1946 the exiled Catholic Polish Govern¬ 
ment in London sent a delegate into Poland. His task: to 
co-ordinate the Polish underground forces and the Polish 
hierarchy with their equivalents outside Poland. 

The Polish hierarchy co-operated to the full, and encouraged 
the enlistment in anti-government activities of many of its 
members. E.g. Father Grudzienski, 15 who passed on reports 
to the British Embassy; Father Matus, member of the illegal 
Co-ordination Committee; Father Leon Pawlina, 16 director of 
the Catholic organization Caritas, a branch of Catholic Action 
and hence directly dependent on the hierarchy; Mgr. Z. 
Kaczynski, a former Minister in the Polish Government in 
London, who held a meeting of the Christian Democrats in 



EUROPE BETWEEN THE SECOND AND THIRD WORLD WARS 387 

the offices of the Catholic paper, the Warsaw Weekly, with a 
view to planning the overthrow of the Polish Government. 

This was by no means confined to the lower clergy. It 
included bishops—Bishop Karczmarek, for instance—while 
Cardinal Hlond and even the Primate of Poland were also 
vigorously active. 

The last two, at this period, had established contact with 
Wlodzimierz Mareszewsky, the leader of the illegal Polish 
Nationalist Organization, a prominent member of the Co¬ 
ordination Committee of the Polish underground movement. 
Their objective: the overthrow of the Polish Government. 
This could be done only with help from outside. It was 
reckoned that such help would come mostly from a consider¬ 
able Polish Army which had stubbornly refused to disband. 
Its leader, pious Catholic General Anders, explained that it 
should not be dissolved on the grounds that it had to be used 
for the new “ liberation ” of Poland. Officially, Anders got 
orders from the exiled Polish Government in London. In 
reality he had become a Catholic Don Quixote, chasing the 
ghost windmills of a remodelled semi-Fascist, super-Catholic 
Pilsudski’s Poland. 

Parallel with sundry frustrated Catholic generals and 
scheming bishops, other forces were no less vigorously dream¬ 
ing ambitious expansionist Catholic anti-democratic dreams. 
One of the most outstanding of these: the anti-Russian 
Federation, whose code name was Isthmus. 

Isthmus had contacts with members in sixteen countries. 
Its objective: the co-ordination of all North, Central, and 
Eastern European countries into one single religious ideological 
bloc. Its promoters envisaged nothing less than the detach¬ 
ment of the southern part of Russia, the latter to be split into 
independent States, to be eventually incorporated into the 
Federation. 17 

Isthmus had the blessing of the U.S.A. More ominous still, 
it was directly backed by the Vatican. Vatican support was 
motivated by the fact that Isthmus’s political objective— 
namely, the destruction of the Communist States—would have 
permitted it to substitute the vanished Communist States by 
Catholic ones, these to serve as the bulk of a powerful Catholic 
Central European Confederation. 



388 the pattern of Vatican machinations against 

In the words of one of its leaders, the members of such a 
Confederation were to be Poland, Hungary, and Austria, 
followed by Slovakia, Croatia, Estonia, Lithuania, Ukraine, 
Latvia, and other Balkan countries. Although non-Catholic 
populations would have been incorporated, the weight o£ the 
dominant Catholic countries would have made the Federation 
wholly Catholic. 

That would have spelt Vatican political domination of 
North, Central, and Eastern Europe. Once these had been 
centralized in the projected Confederation the latter would, in 
turn, have been co-ordinated with the various Catholic govern¬ 
ments of Western Europe. The combination would have pro¬ 
duced a most formidable political bloc, which would have 
transformed the whole of the European Continent into a 
political field for the Vatican. 

The sinister significance of such plans, prior to and after the 
Isthmus project, was that most of them were inspired by forces 
outside Poland and other Eastern European countries—namely, 
by the Vatican and the invisible government of the U.S.A. 

The portent of Isthmus becoming exceptionally active in 
that very period when, as we have already seen, parallel 
exertions were being conducted in America and in Europe by 
the agents of the invisible government of the U.S.A. and by 
the Vatican was not a coincidence. The Vatican’s purpled 
strategists, their agents in Isthmus, counted on establishing 
their new, Catholic-dominated Central Europe in the wake of 
American-led European armies of invasion—namely, upon the 
smoking ruins of a third World War. 

These were not mere rodomontades. They were schemes 
envisaged by the fanaticism of Catholic war leaders. On 
Soldiers Day, 1946, every man in General Anders’s Second 
Army Corps took a vow: “To continue the struggle for the 
liberty of Poland.” The vow bound them all until Poland 
was “liberated.” In any soldier’s mind liberation is accom¬ 
plished by one means only—by war. 

Generals breathe war. And although it is invariably their 
men who are massacred in the fiela while they, the “ old 
soldiers,” die in their bemedalled beds, being universally 
acknowledged the most obtuse individuals, they should be 
listened to with the same respect as is accorded to their 



EUROPE BETWEEN THE SECOND AND THIRD WORLD WARS 389 

intellectual equivalents, the brilliantly uniformed commission¬ 
aires watch-dogging cinemas. Unfortunately, in the last few 
decades it has become the practice to use generals as the brain¬ 
less dummies of hidden forces planning for war. Some of 
their utterances, therefore, at times must be taken in all serious¬ 
ness. In our case, not a few of them spoke as they did know¬ 
ing that powerful currents in the West were hoping and, 
indeed, planning for war. 

We have seen how true this was in the U.S.A. In the case 
of Poland and of Central Europe, its veracity was clearly con¬ 
firmed once more in 1952. In that year the European Move¬ 
ment, attended by delegates from Central and Eastern Europe, 
many of whom had come from the U.S.A., mostly former 
Prime Ministers, Foreign Ministers, and generals, convened in 
London for a Conference of several days. They had assembled 
in order “ to draw up a blue-print for the future of the 
100,000,000 people living behind the Iron Curtain,” to be 
carried out “ when Russian domination is ended.” 18 Although 
the delegates restrained their language for fear of “ the effect 
on British public opinion of any appearance of war-monger- 
in g,” yet they made it crystal-clear mat such domination must 
be ended only by one means, by war. “ We have already been 
attacked . . .” said one. “ The defence, once one has already 
been attacked, is not an act of aggression.” This because “ as 
peace isn’t there, we are at war.” 19 

Mgr. Bela Varga, President of the Hungarian National 
Council, counsellor of Cardinal Mindszenty, was even more 
explicit—“ We are in total war,” stated Prelate Varga. “ The 
aim of it is total victory; we must, therefore, organize for total 
defence.” 

The future plans of the Conference were blatantly pinned 
upon a third World War, owing to the fact that “ everybody 
present knew that as long as the Soviet regime existed in 
Russia, freedom for the enslaved people could be won only 
by the use of force.” 20 Delegates talked about “ after the 
war,” which some corrected to “ after the liberation.” 

The rebuilding of a new Europe, envisaged with so much 
hope and glee upon the ruins and blood of a third global 
massacre, after which, as the sober London Times sourly com¬ 
mented, the delegates propounding it might well return to 



2^0 THE PATTERN OF VATICAN MACHINATIONS AGAINST 

find their liberated countries mere tabula rasa , 21 was not 
visualized only by Central European politicians at the Con¬ 
ference (of whom, it should be noted, more than two-thirds 
were devout Catholics, including Catholic priests e.g. Mr. 
Mikolajczyk, former Polish Premier, and Mgr. Bela Varga. It 
was contemplated by influential quarters in the West. 

It was ominous that one of the first delegates to talk of 
“ after the war ” was a British politician. 23 But the presence of 
British politicians referring to “ after the war i.e. the third 
World War—or of bodies such as the “British Free Russia 
Movement,” created in 1951, although significant, were by no 
means indicative of official British support of the Movement. 

What were truly ominous were the parallel activities inspired 
an d promoted, sometimes under “ private ” patronage, some¬ 
times with the “ official ” sanction of the invisible government 
of die U.S.A. 

A few weeks after the London Conference of the European 
Movement, Admiral Kirk, former U.S. Ambassador to 
Moscow, was elected Chairman of the “ American Committee 
for Liberation of the People of Russia.” Its objective, according 
to Admiral Kirk himself: to provide material and moral aid “ to 
enable fugitives from Stalin’s tyranny to undertake practical 
anti-Soviet activities.” 23 The Committee, it should be noted, 
was a “private organization.” Its chief sponsors: prominent 
members of the dinosaurian and Catholic American fraternities. 

It is noteworthy that Admiral Kirk’s successor in Moscow 
(1952), Mr. Kennan, had also been head of the Free Russia 
Committee. 

Such Committees, led usually by former American ambassa¬ 
dors, American generals or American industrialists, never 
arose by spontaneous generation. They were made to germ¬ 
inate via the flux of monetary and ideological hate-fertilization, 
exuded by that thousand-and-one-headed political monster: 
the invisible government of the U.S.A. 

The most successful of its creatures in this field was 
undoubtedly the American Mutual Security Act (1951). In 
virtue of this, as already mentioned, 100,000,000 dollars were 
allocated by the U.S. Government to help “ any selected persons 
who are residing in . . . the Soviet Union and her satellites 
[Central European nations] ... either to form such persons into 



EUROPE BETWEEN THE SECOND AND THIRD WORLD WARS 39! 

elements of the military forces ... or for other purposes.” 

Viewed against such a background, the different schemes for 
“ after the war,” all secretly connected with the individuals or 
political “ creatures ” of the invisible government of the 
U.S.A., assumed even more fearsome meaning, especially when 
it is remembered that the invisible government was the de facto 
owner of mounting atomic weapons, thanks to the fact that 
the giant corporations of America robbed the American people 
of the true control and ownership of American atomic plants. 24 

In 1951-2-3, at a period when the various European and 
American Committees of Liberation were mushrooming with 
increasing vigour, such ownership was strengthened to a degree 
comparable with the unparalleled dishonesty with which it was 
camouflaged. 

The dinosaurian technique, used with the precise intention 
of making millions of Americans believe the impossible, was 
borrowed in its entirety from the Catholic Church. It rested 
upon the assumption that the American people’s intellectual 
capacity was of such a low standard that they could be made 
to swallow a “ miracle ” of no less colossal proportions than 
that of Pius XII’s zigzagging sun. 

The “ miracle ” ? The most rapacious giant trust of the 
U.S.A. had become suddenly “ patriotic.” That was not all. 
It had turned simultaneously “ unselfish.” A miracle of the first 
water, even by Vatican standards. But the most astounding 
feature of it all was that at the same time it had also disowned 
the “ profit motive.” The religious equivalent would have 
been if the Pope had suddenly publicly disowned his belief in 
God. Last, but not least, it had made it understood that this 
portentous transformation had occurred because of the burning 
love it nursed for the American people. Inspired by such love, 
die great dinosaur, like a gigantic St. Paul, had become so 
concerned with their “ salvation ” that it decided to sacrifice 
most of its immense fortune to ensure the American masses’ 
“ future.” To such purpose it was going to manufacture 
atomic weapons for the protection of American freedom. 

The sum which the incomparable dinosaur was going to 
spend for the sake of its newly born love: one thousand two 
hundred and fifty million dollars. 

True love has always scorned vile money. Small tokens, in 



392 THE PATTERN OF VATICAN MACHINATIONS AGAINST 

its eyes, can count more than all the riches o£ the earth. In 
exchange for the one-billion-dollar gift, all that the enamoured 
dinosaur longed for was a belated acknowledgment from its 
darling American people, plus the modest souvenir of . . . one 
hundred cents (to be paid by the American Government). 

To avoid the danger of making the dinosaurian request sound 
greedy, perhaps it is wiser to simplify the monetary value of its 
demand. The enamoured dinosaur longed for, in addition to 
a belated recognition from the American people, the modest 
souvenir of one single American dollar . . - repeat, one single 
American dollar. 

Pius XITs miracle of the zigzagging sun had been unmis¬ 
takably dwarfed. 

Miracles, whether concocted in Rome or in the U.S.A. how¬ 
ever, when occurring do so to promote specific causes. That 
of the great dinosaur was meant to promote the building, con¬ 
trolling, and owning of the greatest atomic plant in the world 
(the Savannah River Plant) by that patriotic spender, the 
tyrannosaurian Du Pont. 

That was not all. Behind the saintly Du Pont there stood 
whole hordes of no less patriotically unselfish and saintly 
American industrial and financial predatory monsters— 
Western Electric, Westinghouse, Monsanto, General Electric— 
flanked by other great reptiles, many of whom, during the 
Second World War, had consorted with America’s main 
enemy, Hitler, and sabotaged the U.S.A.’s war effort. We 
have already seen how that was done, but to quote two addi¬ 
tional examples: in April, 1941, Thurman Arnold, Con¬ 
gressional investigator, exposed a conspiracy between Nazi 
industrialists in Germany and the Aluminum Corporation of 
America, according to whom airplane production went up 
in Hitler’s Germany and was kept down in England, France, 
and the U.S.A. In February, 1942, the Truman Senatorial 
Report named General Motors among the corporations which, 
for profit motives, had wilfully sabotaged the U.S.A. war effort 
for eighteen months. 25 

To be sure, the U.S. Government was the official owner- 
controller of atomic energy ... on paper. A surer fact, how¬ 
ever, was that behind the governmental Atomic Energy Com¬ 
mission there stood, more powerful than ever, the de facto 



EUROPE BETWEEN THE SECOND AND THIRD WORLD WARS 393 

owner-controllers: the giant corporations of America. 26 The 
A.E.C. was an enforced but welcome device adopted to hide 
this sinister reality with an official screen. But even the A.E.C. 
was controlled by the giant corporations. The official supreme 
atomic authority—namely, the Chairman of the Congressional 
Committee on Atomic Energy—at this period was Senator 
Brian McMahon, a Roman Catholic. The relationship between 
the big American dinosaurs and the American hierarchy, and 
hence between the Vatican and the invisible government of 
the U.S.A., being what it was, the significance of the de facto 
dinosaurian ownership of the atom, and of die control by 
Catholics of the official agency representing the American 
Administration, was a portent that should not escape any 
freedom-loving American. 

The sundry Committees of Liberation, both in the U.S.A. 
and in Europe, prior to and after this period were, it must be 
remembered, inspired, financed, and directly promoted by the 
American owners of the atom. 

The identification of interests of the invisible government 
of the U.S.A., placed in a position of secretiy shaping the 
foreign policy of the country to run parallel with the interests 
of its ally, the Vatican—also secretiy in the position of orientat¬ 
ing the general policy of Europe—thus, in the long run, spelt 
the general orientation of the whole policy of the West since 
the end of the Second World War. 

One of the most formidable secrets of Western politics lies 
precisely in such alliances. With such joint invisible Vatican- 
dinosaurian power functioning undetected in Europe and in the 
U.S.A., the various schemes of Central European liberations in 
the wake of a third World War could not be wholly dismissed 
as the pathetic dreams of frustrated Catholic statesmen, mis¬ 
guided nationalists, or genuine haters of tyranny, which many 
had identified with Communist nations. They were the 
political manifestations of the recondite, callous policy of two 
ruthless, rapacious Powers—the invisible government of the 
U.S.A. and the Vatican—which had set out to exploit Central 
European discontent and dreams so as to further their 
dinosaurian dominion. 

The ultimate objective of such dominion was a simple one: 
tile replacing of “ Communist tyrannies,” not with genuine 



394 THE PATTERN OF VATICAN MACHINATIONS AGAINST 

democracies, but with “ Catholic tyrannies,” revolving simul¬ 
taneously in the military, economic, and political orbits of the 
invisible government of the U.S.A., and in the religious, social, 
and ideological orbits of the Vatican. In other words, the 
replacement of the Kremlin with the Vatican’s dominion, 
Pilsudski-type, throughout the vast region of Europe. 

Such replacement, in Catholic calculations, will be accom¬ 
plished via a third World War. 

The First World War cost approximately ^80,000,000,000. 
This sum would have been sufficient to buy up the whole of 
France and Belgium and everything they contained five times 
over. The Second World War’s financial cost can best be 
judged by the following. The sums spent on it could have 
provided for every family in the U.S.A., Canada, Austria, 
Britain, Ireland, France, Germany, Soviet Russia, and Belgium 
a $33,600 house, furniture worth $11,200, and $56,000 cash. 
In addition, every town with a population of over 200,000 
could have been given a cash donation of $70,000,000 for 
libraries, $70,000,000 for schools, and $70,000,000 for hospitals. 

The third World War, even before its outbreak, has cost the 
European nations quasi-bankruptcy. Out of a total budget 
(1953) of 85 billion dollars, the U.S.A. alone appropriated the 
incredible sum of 65 billion dollars exclusively for military 
expenditure. 27 

What was their cost in blood ? 

During the First World War, 10,000,000 people were killed 
outright, a further 10,000,000 died of epidemics, and 20,000,000 
were wounded. 28 

During the Second World War 20,000,000 men were killed 
in battle, 20,000,000 women, children, and old men were 
killed in air-raids; 29,500,000 were wounded, mutilated, or 
incapacitated; 21,250,000 were deported, interned, or other¬ 
wise made homeless; 30,000,000 homes were reduced to ashes; 
150,000,000 people were left without shelter, prey to famine 
and disease. 29 

The price of World War III will dwarf the prices paid for 
World Wars I and II. World War I was more destructive 
than the 901 major wars of the past 2,400 years; seven times 
more destructive than all of them combined. World War II 
was four times worse than World War I. 



EUROPE BETWEEN THE SECOND AND THIRD WORLD WARS 395 

World War III will be a thousand times more destructive 
than World Wars I and II put together. Super atom bombs 
will wipe out whole towns. One single hydrogen bomb will 
kill 50,000,000 people, not in the space of one evening, but in 
the space of minutes. 30 World Wars I and II swept Europe 
and Asia; World War III will sweep also over the U.S.A. like 
the wrath of God. American cities will be destroyed, Ameri¬ 
can women and children will be massacred by the million, 
whole nations will be wiped from the face of the earth. 

Could the American people justify the waging of such a 
global massacre to replace “ Red tyrannies ” by Catholic 
tyrannies? Could the American people risk incineration to 
liberate the West from the “ Red terror ” in order to be 
threatened by the Catholic terror? 

These are questions that all Americans must ask themselves 
in deadly earnest and then ponder over. For truly these are 
neither speculations nor mere hypotheses; they are sombre 
realities. America, the West, and the whole world are already 
revolving in their ever-growing spiral of destruction. 

The Catholic Church has erected her tremendously malig¬ 
nant long-range policy upon it. Her “ liberation ” scheme for 
Eastern Europe and Soviet Russia, when translated into 
political parlance, means nothing less than its implementation. 
This is but one of her many concurrent policies. Her 
ultimate objective will be obtained by the implementation of 
the following interdependent Catholic schemes: 

(i) The erection of a vast conglomeration of Catholic 
dictatorships throughout Central Europe, where the 
Catholic Church would rule unchallenged. 

(ii) The fulfilment of the “ promise ” of Fatima—i.e. the 
“ conversion ” to the Catholic Church of a defeated 
Russia. 

(iii) The final “ emergence ” of the Catholic Church as 
the supreme religious-political arbiter of the West, 
and probably of the world, after the atomic destruc¬ 
tion of the two mightiest rivals for global dominion, 
the U.S.A. and Soviet Russia, following a third World 
War. 

Whether a globally maimed mankind would permit such 



396 THE PATTERN OF VATICAN MACHINATIONS AGAINST EUROPE 

monstrous calculations to blossom into political realities is in 
the bosom of the future. Meanwhile, the hard, solid reality 
is that the grand policy of the Vatican is inspired precisely by 
such incredible designs. Such a policy has already been pro¬ 
moted, in practical, concrete terms, in Europe and elsewhere 
for years. 

The tremendous hidden emotional-religious significance of 
the Fatima cult, with its cataclysmic phenomena epitomized in 
the Miracle of die Sun, is one of those undetected and yet real 
forces which are slowly but relentlessly conditioning a mass 
of 400,000,000 Catholics for the acceptance, and hence support, 
of whoever might fulfil the Fatima goal: the annihilation of 
Soviet Russia. Which means the conditioning of 400,000,000 
Catholics, and of other hundreds of millions of their allies, by 
the Vatican and by certain forces in the U.S.A. for a third 
world massacre. 

Vatican designs, conceived after the First World War, 
brought up to date during the Second, and promoted in the 
years that followed, have left their pattern upon Western 
political events ever since. Among these, those connected with 
Central Europe—as envisaged by Pilsudski, Isthmus, the 
European Movement, the Free Russia Committees, and similar 
bodies—have played a paramount role, almost out of propor¬ 
tion to their numerical importance. 

The pattern of Vatican political machinations in that vast 
region, even when viewed with more cogent world problems, 
is anything but secondary. Its schemes are already part of 
the political history of the twentieth century. As such they 
should 'be carefully perused. For, besides proving how much 
the joint Vatican-American-dinosaurian exertions have up to 
now imperilled peace, they are a most astounding demon¬ 
stration of how a Catholic domination would spell neither 
“ liberation ” nor, even less, the blossoming of true freedom. 

A Catholic domination would spell a successful effort on 
the part of the Vatican to put back the clock of history, and, 
indeed, to enforce the deadly past upon a mankind already 
affrighted by so many tyrannies and, still more, by a future so 
pregnant with omens of oncoming calamities, the nefarious 
heritage of present global disasters, sired by the ever-mounting 
confusion of contemporary man. 



20 

THE SPECTACULAR CASE OF CARDINAL 
MINDSZENTY, OR THE VATICAN’S 
GREAT ATTEMPT TO PUT 
BACK THE CLOCK 

O NE DAY IN 1916, WHILE THE GUNS 

of the First World War were 
thundering in the bloody fields of 
Europe, a venerable old man died peacefully in his bed. He 
passed away, lamented by the Church, regretted by some 
friends, accursed by sullen multitudes and by millions of 
starry-eyed youths zealously slaying one another to usher in 
the century of the Common Man. 

The old gentleman claimed 2,047 ancestors, of whom 1,486 
were Germans, 124 French, 196 Italian, 89 Spanish, 52 Polish, 
47 Danish, and 20 English. He had ruled a dominion com¬ 
prising twenty different European races and countries from 
1848 until 1916—a record. His name: Francis Joseph, 
Emperor of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. When that first 
global massacre ended and the living looked to the future, 
throbbing with hope, a revolution in Vienna swept away the 
Emperor’s successor, Charles, and with him Francis’s whole 
dynasty, (he most Catholic House of Hapsburg. 

397 



398 THE SPECTACULAR CASE OF CARDINAL MINDSZENTY, OR 

Thirty years later, one day in 1946, Joseph Pehm, a man 
still in his prime, journeyed, tight-lipped, to Rome. The most 
he knew of his immediate lineage was that both his father 
and his mother were very poor peasants, as were their parents 
and their parents’ parents, as far as the oldest inhabitant in his 
village could remember. 

Once in the Eternal City the youngish-looking man was 
respectfully received by the Under-Secretary of State of the 
Vatican, and by none other than His Holiness the Pope, with 
whom he had very private meetings. 

The following year he moved westward and landed in the 
U.S.A., where he was a personal guest of Cardinal Spellman. 
There he contacted important officials of the American State 
Department, an elderly lady, and her son. When back home 
Joseph Pehm thoughtfully drew up a list of names, carefully 
hid it among his most private papers; addressed cordial letters 
to the representatives of a hostile Power, venomous missives to 
his own government; smuggled foreign currency; held secret 
confabulations with shady personages; and, on the whole, 
carried out increasingly suspicious activities for a number of 
years. Result: Joseph Pehm was arrested, indicted, found 
guilty, and condemned to life-imprisonment. His brief U.S.A. 
encounters, it was found out, had been neither casual nor 
suave interchanges of cordialities. The lady proved to be none 
other than the ex-Empress Zita, widow of Charles; the 
son, Otto of Hapsburg, the claimant to the throne of the 
Austro-Hungarian Empire. The list: a Ministerial selection 
for the future Catholic government of Hungary, charged with 
the task of a full-blooded restoration of the most Catholic 
Monarchy of the Hapsburgs to the Hungarian throne, follow¬ 
ing the violent overthrow of the Hungarian Government then 
in power. All this to be accomplished with the genteel 
co-operation of Hungarian Catholic insurgents, of the Vatican, 
and, last but not least, of the U.S.A. 

Pehm’s other name: Joseph Mindszenty, Cardinal Primate 
of Hungary. 1 

The discovery of the plot caused a world sensation and was 
instantly labelled persecution of religion. Notwithstanding 
this, the true inspirers of it all were also brought before the 
court and indicted: the Vatican and the U.S.A. And the 



the Vatican’s great attempt to put back the clock 399 

trial, in spite of their frantic efforts to stultify it with a religious 
aura, turned into the most astounding up-to-date exposure of 
the vast Catholic political scheme, of whose outline we are 
cognizant. 

This scheme’s objective was the promotion of the grand 
strategy adopted concurrently by Rome and the invisible 
government of the U.S.A. in Eastern and Central Europe. Its 
implementation, it was soon realized, had been reckoned as 
important to the ultimate Vatican-American post-War goals as 
their scheme covering Western Europe was deemed necessary 
to the final success of their whole ideological strategy in 
relation to the entire West. 

The Mindszenty failure had meant a serious set-back to such 
policies. Their sponsors, however, were soon able to profit by 
it, by skilfully turning their political misadventure to their 
advantage, via a tremendous mobilization of world public 
opinion, the ultimate objective of which was the simultaneous 
promotion of ideological odium and Catholic prestige on an 
unprecedented scale where it could be made to pay the biggest 
dividends—namely, in the U.S.A. 

The twin Catholic-dinosaurian propaganda machines were 
swiftly made to pulsate with that specific object in view. 
Whereas the Vatican promptly transformed the whole issue 
into one of atheistic Communism versus innocent, pure, above- 
politics Catholicism, the dinosaurian Press, radio, and motion 
pictures of tire U.S.A. depicted it as a monstrous violation of 
the sanctity of that personal freedom for which they, the great 
dinosaurs, had always longed to spill their—or, rather, the 
American and European peoples’—blood. 

Except for a tiny minority, the American masses swallowed 
the Catholic-dinosaurian version, hook, line, and sinker, and 
clamoured that this poor, innocent Catholic priest, tortured 
and drugged by godless Reds, be set free. 

It was another astounding demonstration that, although the 
American Press was the freest in the world, the American 
people were still “ the most misinformed among enlightened 
nations,” as their own Government had so sadly concluded 
only a few years before. 2 

The same phenomenon occurred in Europe and, in fact, 
everywhere, the Catholic-dinosaurian propaganda distortion 



400 THE SPECTACULAR CASE OF CARDINAL MINDSZENTY, OR 

machinery having been mobilized simultaneously throughout 
the world. 

Apart from a handful of trustworthy organs, 3 the Western 
Press, with its 500,000,000 readers, indiscriminately accepted 
the Vatican-dinosaurian version of the affair. To the few 
impartial observers, and to the fewer of “ those who knew ” 
in the departments of State of the Vatican and of Washington, 
the truth was otherwise. Succinctly told, it was as follows. 


Since 1870, with the collapse of Napoleon III, the Pope’s 
paladin, the Catholic Church’s secular sword in European 
politics had been inherited by a political hybrid: the Austro- 
Hungarian Empire. This was not only a political hybrid 
topped by an aloof tyrant who paled at the very word 
“ democracy it was a most devoutly Catholic empire, ruled 
by the most traditionally bigoted of all European dynasties: 
the House of the Hapsburgs. 

The Hapsburgs had sided with the Popes for almost a 
millennium, during which their zeal, instead of abating, 
increased. This being due, in addition to their hereditary 
obtuseness, to the fact that as the Hapsburg’s collection of 
subjugated races augmented proportionately to their desire to 
unsaddle the oppressive Hapsburg protection, Mother Church’s 
spiritual authority had proved to be increasingly useful when 
exercised in the right place and at the right moment to quell 
disorders; indeed, more than once to save that motley empire 
from disintegrating altogether. 

The Hapsburg-Catholic political marriage, although a mar¬ 
riage of convenience consummated only after 1871, had its 
original roots in the wooing that had taken place, in an atmo¬ 
sphere charged with dreams of mutual Hapsburg, Catholic, 
Napoleonic grandeur, intrigue, and political melodrama, 
before Napoleon Ill’s fall. 

In that pre-marital period, Francis Joseph’s brother, Maxi¬ 
milian, was dispatched to Mexico, under the joint Vatican- 
Napoleonic sponsorship, to set up nothing less than a Haps¬ 
burg Catholic American empire. Juarez, the Mexican Liberal 
leader who for years had been chased across Mexican territory 
by the armies of his Catholic opponents, saw to it (encouraged 



the Vatican’s great attempt to put back the clock 401 

by Lincoln) that no Vatican-Napoleonic-Hapsburg seedling 
was planted on American soil. Indeed, to the indescribable 
horror of the Pope, of his political carabinier Napoleon, not to 
speak of Catholic Europe, Juarez had Maximilian put before a 
Mexican execution squad. 

After such a misadventure, the Hapsburg-Vatican ties became 
closer than ever, and were strengthened to such an extent that 
their joint ruthlessness outraged both Liberal and Conservative 
Europe. Whenever a province seethed with unrest, there the 
joint spiritual terrorization of Mother Church came invariably 
to supplement the most callous individual and mass hangings 
of patriots and liberals that the West had ever seen, in which 
gentle art the pious Hapsburgs had come to hold almost a 
monopoly. 

The Hapsburg Empire not only gave stability to Catholic 
influence throughout its domains: it ensured it throughout 
European politics, the Empire, by the mere fact that it existed, 
being reckoned—as indeed it was—the most formidable 
stabilizer of Central Europe. And, as such, it was regarded as 
far more necessary to the Vatican than in its role of protector 
of the Church within its own imperial boundaries. 

The reasons which had made of the Hapsburg colossus a 
keystone in the Vatican’s grand European designs at the end 
of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth centuries 
can be broadly summarized thus: 

(a) It gave Catholicism unparalleled influence throughout 
a vastly populated, well-administered and highly cen¬ 
tralized Empire, where Catholic power could be exer¬ 
cised over, not only devout and lukewarm members of 
the Church, but also Protestants and heretics—e.g. the 
Hussite Czechs and the Orthodox Serbs. 

( b) It was a most necessary factor on the great political 
chess-board of Europe, and enabled the Vatican to 
play its diplomatic game with great additional weight, 
strength, and prestige. 

(c) It was acting as the most powerful dyke: internally, 
against all forces of liberalism and democracy; ex¬ 
ternally, against those hostile to the Church—e.g. it 
prevented the waves of Russian Imperialism from lap- 



402 


THE SPECTACULAR CASE OF CARDINAL MINDSZENTY, OR 

p ing too far westwards into Catholic Europe—Russian 
Imperialism at that period meaning, not so much terri¬ 
torial expansionism as religious penetration, the Czar 
being the official head of the Orthodox Church. 

Thanks to these and other factors, therefore, the Austro- 
Hungarian dual Monarchy, more than useful, had become a 
necessity for the stability of a Europe dominated, as it was, by 
a few large political units jockeying for European hegemony. 
Its disappearance would have spelt disaster for all, especially 
for the Vatican. 

Destiny had decided just that. And soon the folly of men 
and Papal vindictiveness helped its decree to be fulfilled. 

In 1914 the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, a nephew of the 
Emperor Francis Joseph, went with his wife to visit a province 
of the Empire, predominantly Orthodox, bubbling with dis¬ 
content. There, in Sarajevo, they were promptly assassinated. 
His Holiness Pope Pius X (since canonized), having, before 
the murder, stubbornly brooded over the desirability of punish¬ 
ing those “ godless heretical Orthodox Serbs,” seeing in the 
incident the hand of Divine Providence, promptly counselled 
the old Catholic Emperor to take drastic military measures 
against “ Orthodox Serbia ”—a counsel which Francis will¬ 
ingly followed. 1 

The spark which set Europe on fire had been lit. When the 
last gun echoed in the silent battlefields, the old Europe had 
gone. The Catholic Austro-Hungarian Empire and its pious 
Dynasty of the Hapsburgs were no more. In their stead— 
newly-born nations owing allegiance to none but themselves 
had sprung up overnight, where only a short while before there 
had stood that mighty bulwark of the Catholic Church, the 
Hapsburg Dynasty. 


The disaster shook the Vatican, but not for long. Empires 
had tumbled and had risen before, the dawn and the twilight 
of many having been watched by successive Popes, who very 
often had charted their future with support or with enmity. 

If the Popes had seen their birth and their fall, however, they 
had also seen that empires, although frequently made and 



the Vatican’s great attempt to put back the clock 403 

unmade by the sword, had at other times been created also by 
the manipulation of far-sighted diplomacy which, by consoli¬ 
dating their shaky structures or by rebuilding where it was 
necessary to rebuild, had slowed down their decline when they 
had not prevented them from tumbling to their destruction. 

Vatican diplomacy, with its unmatched experience, conse¬ 
quently, as soon as the Hapsburg Empire fell, set out in earnest 
to do what it had attempted to do more than once in the past— 
namely, to lay down plans for its resurrection. 

It was thus that, immediately following the War, while the 
stridulant voices of the peacemakers were echoing in spacious, 
treaty-littered halls, while the turmoiling little States had 
pugnaciously begun to tear one another’s boundaries, while 
the new territory-swollen big nations, their visions obfuscated 
by acquisitional indigestion, were hypocritically talking of 
equality, and while the first potential European dictators were 
broodingly penning their manifestos, within the silent walls of 
the Vatican, men mindful of how empires are rebuilt set 
out calmly to re-erect the vanished, most Catholic Hapsburg 
Monarchy and its Austro-Hungarian Empire. 

If the most Catholic dynasty of the Hapsburgs had, like an 
anchor, granted security to the barque of Peter in the perilous 
pre-War European political sea, that same anchor now had 
become a portentous necessity, transcending all that it had been 
in the past. 

The face of the West had not only been altered; it had been 
disfigured. In Central Europe it had been maimed beyond 
recognition. There, where once the Catholic Church had 
ruled supreme, heretical States had impertinently come to the 
fore, challenging and disrespectful of the Church—e.g. Pro¬ 
testant Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia ruled by Orthodox 
Serbia. Worse still, the Russia of the Czars had become the 
Russia of Lenin. The Russia of Orthodoxy had become the 
Russia of the Bolsheviks, the terror of all God-fearing Chris¬ 
tians. Particularly of those who, because of their genuine 
eagerness to ensure the spiritual treasures of the next world, 
clung so tentaciously to the material goods of this. 

The reinstatement of the most Catholic House of Hapsburg 
having thus become the only guarantee for the salvation of 
Central Europe, the Vatican started to promote a policy 



404 THE SPECTACULAR CASE OF CARDINAL MINDSZENTY, OR 

directed at retransforming that now politically, religiously, and 
ethnically jigsaw-puzzled region into an up-to-date, monolithic 
unit. This with the precise objective of making it play the 
same role in modern times as the old Empire had done in the 
days prior to the First World War. 

To be sure, the new hybrid had to be apparelled in vestments 
acceptable to the changed political habitat. Steps in this direc¬ 
tion were taken even before disaster overtook the Hapsburg 
fabric. As later, during the Second World War, the Vatican 
promoted a brand-new policy before the collapse of Fascist 
Europe, so also here it prosecuted a new plan prior to the 
collapse of the old Europe and the tumbling of the Hapsburg 
Dynasty. 

In July, 1917, Charles, who on November 21, 1916, had 
succeeded his father, the Emperor Francis Joseph, as head of 
the Austro-Hungarian Empire, sent a “ letter of filial obedi¬ 
ence ” to Pope Benedict XV, in which he left to his august 
authority” the decision of the sacrifices which the Austro- 
Hungarian Empire had to make to obtain a quick peace. 
The peace was meant to save the Catholic Austro-Hungarian 
Monarchy, not so much from being defeated as from being 
disintegrated. 

The efforts of the Vatican for a separate Austro-Hungarian 
peace with the Allies failed. Germany and Austria-Hungary 
were defeated. In 1918 the Dynasty of the Hapsburgs was 
swept away by the people. On November 10 Charles knelt 
before the altar of the royal chapel of Schonbrunn and made 
a solemn vow: “ I shall never abdicate,” he said, with stream¬ 
ing tears. “ After me there will be Otto, and after my family 
is no more there will still be some Hapsburg who will succeed 
us.” Charles, his wife Zita, and their five children, the oldest 
of whom was named Otto, were outlawed by a decree of Karl 
Renner, first President of the new Austrian Republic. Charles 
took refuge in Switzerland, where he began to plan for the 
reconquest of his throne. 

In Hungary, powerful forces rallied immediately to his 
cause. These were composed mostly of staunch Catholics, big 
landowners, the greatest bulk of whom belonged to the Hun¬ 
garian nobility. Nine hundred and eighty of such gentry 
owned a third of the whole Hungarian territory, and 1,112 of 



the Vatican’s great attempt to put back the clock 405 

diem owned a sixth of the whole cultivable land of that 
country. The unconcern of these individuals with the welfare 
of their people had become proverbial throughout Europe, 
as were their extravagances—typified, for instance, by an 
Esterhazy, who boasted that he used one of Titian’s paintings 
as a portmanteau, or by a member of the Karoly family, who 
once hired a whole train to send a bottle of Tokay to a dame 
de coeur. 

Charles invaded Hungary at the head of such a patriotic 
motley and tried twice to reconquer the Hungarian crown by 
force of arms. He failed by a hair’s-breadth, once reaching 
the very gates of Budapest. In sight of the capital Charles lost, 
in October, 1921. The man who defeated him: Micklos 
Horthy. Horthy ordered the arrest of numerous Royalists, 
many of whom were also members of Parliament. On Novem¬ 
ber 8, 1921, the majority of the Assembly voted in favour of 
the Act of Dethronement, which Horthy, as Regent of Hun¬ 
gary, ratified. Charles’s wife, Zita, was made a prisoner with 
her husband, and, with their children, they were handed over 
to the Allies. The Allies, including the U.S.A., promptly 
deported them to the island of Madeira, to prevent more 
attempts at a Hapsburg restoration. 

In Hungary, however, monarchical and Catholic elements 
went on plotting. Their efforts were not a success; but they 
were not a total failure either. For Hungary, although deprived 
of the Monarchy, never became a republic like Austria. It 
was turned into a Regency, in which dubious status it remained 
from 1919 to 1944—i.e. throughout the dictatorship of Admiral 
Horthy. 

During that period various attempts at a Hapsburg restora¬ 
tion were made, particularly in Austria, after that Republic fell 
into the hands of a faithful creature of the Vatican—a priest, 
Mgr. Seipel, whose judgment on political matters was con¬ 
sidered so valuable that he often advised the Pope himself. 
Seipel’s basic idea was no less than the restoration of the Haps¬ 
burg Monarchy in all those countries which had constituted 
the Hapsburg Empire before its downfall, but under an 
up-to-date political structure. 

The scheme was not an original one. Seipel had borrowed 
it from Charles of Hapsburg, who, in 1918, as the Catholic 



406 THE SPECTACULAR CASE OF CARDINAL MINDSZENTY, OR 

Emperor of Austria and the Apostolic King of Hungary, had 
declared that he was disposed to transform the Dual Monarchy 
into a confederation of independent States: a scheme, this, 
Vatican-inspired, which the Allies—Lloyd George, Clemen- 
ceau, and Woodrow Wilson—promptly rejected. 

The rebirth of the Catholic Hapsburg Empire, or, rather, the 
up-to-date version of the Charles-Vatican plan of 1918, accord¬ 
ing to Seipel, was to take place in stages. 

It would have started as a political association of former 
Hapsburg countries, a kind of federation of Catholic States. 
Its completion would have begun with the gradual building 
of a Danubian Confederation, by consolidating a series of 
political and economic agreements welding together Central 
Europe, to be followed by a policy directed at the disintegration 
of the various countries concerned. Austria would have served 
as their nucleus. From the surrounding countries Seipel pro¬ 
posed to take: from Yugoslavia, a third of her territory, i.e. 
Catholic Croatia; from Czechoslovakia, also a third of her 
territory, i.e. Catholic Slovakia. 

Hungary, of course, would have come second to Austria. 
That was not all. Seipel had added a morsel or two of his own 
to Charles’s scheme. All being well, Catholic Bavaria, which 
France was then trying to separate from Berlin, and Alsace- 
Lorraine would have been included. Result: more than a 
Catholic federation, Seipel’s scheme would have become a 
Papal federation, where the Pope would be the head, or at 
least the de facto ruler, prior to and after the reinstatement of 
the Monarchy. 

Seipel had already designated the future most Catholic 
Emperor: Otto, the son of the former Empress Zita, who, 
he saw to it, was trained at the Benedictine Abbey of St. 
Maurice, in Clervaux, Luxembourg. Seipel and Zita decided 
that Otto, the better to fulfil his task as a future ruler of several 
races, must learn the languages of the nations he was going to 
rule—i.e. German, Hungarian, Croat, Czech, and Slovak. 
Notwithstanding the fact that he was a private citizen, every¬ 
one had to address him as “ Your Majesty,” while the etiquette 
of a vanished Court had to be strictly observed in his presence. 
These were not merely a prelate’s or a woman’s idiosyncrasies: 
they were the coldly calculated actions of people who knew 



the Vatican’s great attempt to put back the clock 407 

how powerful forces were working for the re-establishment of 
the Hapsburg Monarchy. 

At the age of eighteen Otto was proclaimed the legal pre¬ 
tender to the Imperial throne of Austria, in addition to the 
kingdoms of Hungary, Bohemia, Dalmatia, Croatia, Slovenia, 
Galicia, Illyria, and other places. 

In the eyes of the Vatican Otto had legal claims which 
justified his and any of his supporters’ exertions for his restora¬ 
tion in those lands. Backed by Royalist supporters in Austria 
and Hungary, Otto from then onward began to come openly 
to the fore, advocating the restoration of the Hapsburg Mon¬ 
archy and taking an active part in the politics of those countries 
before the Second World War. 

Prior to the Vatican’s sudden support of the Anschluss 
(1937-8), Otto had publicly demanded a restoration of the 
Hapsburgs in Austria. “ The time for taking a decisive action 
has come,” he said. “ I am ready to enter the country at any 
moment ...” (June, 1936). At this period, Otto had the 
support of both Mussolini and Pius XI, both of whom, to 
strengthen Otto’s political position, had arranged for his 
engagement to Princess Mafalda, daughter of the King of 
Italy. 

In March, 1938, the coup d’etat foretold by Otto’s supporters 
took place. But the new master of Austria, instead of Otto, 
the scion of the Hapsburg Dynasty, was a former private 
soldier of the Emperor Francis Joseph’s grand armies: one 
Adolf Hitler, the newly-elected Chancellor of Nazi Germany. 


The rise of Hitler had shattered the hopes of the Hapsburgs 
in Austria, in Slovakia, in Croatia, and, finally, in Hungary 
when that country joined the Axis. For a time the Vatican 
shelved the project. It could do nothing else. Hitler was 
fulfilling the grand role of any potential Hapsburg monarch 
by making Central Europe a formidable bulwark against Com¬ 
munist Russia. Hence Papal co-operation with Hitler in the 
latter’s incorporation of Austria, disintegration of Czecho¬ 
slovakia prior to the Second World War, and dismemberment 
of Yugoslavia, incorporation of Orthodox Serbia, and creation 
of the “ independent ” Catholic State of Croatia during the 



408 the spectacular case of cardinal mindszenty, or 

War. As long as that policy was successful the Hapsburg ques¬ 
tion had to, and did, remain in the background. Once the 
Nazi edifice began to crack, however, the Hapsburg question 
was revived in earnest and soon became again the foundation 
stone of Vatican Central European post-War diplomacy. 

The Catholic strategists had by no means been caught 
unawares. For, while Hitler was careering in his mad ascent 
to power, they had quietly been grooming a half-forgotten 
Otto, in case Hitler’s fortunes should change; as, in fact, they 
did. 

Otto was made to peregrinate in various countries, where 
Catholic forces promoted him as a private individual “ with 
great future political potentialities.” Prior to the Second 
World War he was permitted to enter France, where he was 
given semi-official support. Having made important contacts 
there, Otto was dispatched to the country which, in the 
Vatican’s reckoning, might play the leading role in a future 
Hapsburg restoration—the U.S.A. The U.S.A. was a Republic 
and a Protestant land. But the Vatican, when planning inter¬ 
national politics, not only does not even deign to consider such 
characteristics; it wholly disregards the reaction of the Ameri¬ 
can people, for whom it entertains the greatest scorn. 

Otto was made to contact, not so much the American people, 
as their American masters. Objections to his entry were 
brushed aside, thanks to a joint French-American Catholic 
sponsorship, and the Hapsburg’s scion visited the U.S.A. under 
the name of Otto de Bar. There Otto was received as a “ very 
important person,” became the protege of Cardinal Spellman, 
was received by President Roosevelt, and, last but not least, had 
discussions with the leading political, financial, and industrial 
members of the invisible government of the U.S.A., headed by 
none other than J. Pierpont Morgan, the great financier, who 
was quickly won over to a potential Hapsburg restoration. 

When Fascist Europe collapsed and Communism rushed in 
to fill the void, the invisible government of the U.S.A. adopted 
the Vatican’s policy of prompt restoration of the Hapsburg 
Monarchy as a foundation stone of the joint Vatican-American 
fight against Soviet Russia. 

From then onward the Hapsburg question assumed an ever- 
more-urgent significance. The U.S.A., having embarked upon 



the Vatican’s great attempt to put back the clock 409 

it, set to work on its implementation. This implied a partial 
and also a total restoration of the former Hapsburg dominion 
which had once comprised most of Central Europe. 

To re-erect such a vast edifice the first step was to reinstate 
the Hapsburgs in one country—either Austria or Hungary— 
and then to bring together the surrounding States. The first 
stage would take the form of a democratic federation of the 
various countries of Central Europe, with a Federal Constitu¬ 
tion modelled upon that of the U.S.A. Otto would become the 
Federal President, unless he had restored the Monarchy in any 
given country before that stage was achieved. 

The land in which Otto would begin to rule, either as 
President, Regent, Constitutional Monarch, or the like, was 
not difficult to find. Austria, being partly occupied by the 
Soviet Army, was excluded. Slovakia was too small. Croatia 
was dismissed owing to the establishment of Tito’s Com¬ 
munist Dictatorship. In Hungary conditions were more 
favourable. There existed a democratic government, influen¬ 
tial monarchist elements, and a Cardinal Primate who was 
still legally vested with feudal privileges—that is to say, who 
could legally become head of the State. This, thanks to the 
fact that the Primate, who had always been appointed directly 
by the Vatican, had from medieval times crowned the Hun¬ 
garian kings as the representatives of the Pope. Because of this, 
throughout the centuries he had been invested with the second 
highest office in the land—that is, he was considered second 
only to the king himself. Another proof that the Papal claims 
to earthly powers, as seen at the beginning of this book, were 
not mere symbols, but concrete, real claims, still capable of 
serious repercussions in this our twentieth century. The 
privileges that such a function imported were never legally 
abolished; Admiral Horthy, during his semi-Fascist dictator¬ 
ship, having continued to invest the Primacy with its feudal 
status. 

Owing to the exalted position of the Primate, to the influence 
of the Catholic hierarchy, and to the vast economic wealth of 
the Church, the head of Hungarian Catholicism by wielding 
enormous power was the natural leader of any movement 
directed at the restoration of a Catholic monarchy in that 
country. 



4X0 THE SPECTACULAR CASE OF CARDINAL MINDSZENTY, OR 

With the ending of the Second World War, consequently, 
Hungary, lying as she does between Soviet Russia and Western 
Europe, became suddenly paramount in the anti-Russian ideo¬ 
logical and military strategy of America and of the Vatican, 
which set out in dead earnest to implement the first part of 
their joint policy. 

This was simplicity itself: the monarchist elements were to 
rally round the Cardinal Primate. The Primate, using his 
religious and political influence, would, with outside help, 
promote an internal crisis, with the object of causing the down¬ 
fall of the Government. That would give the Cardinal a 
golden opportunity to exercise his legal privilege and thus take 
up the reins of power. The second step, the restoration of the 
Hapsburg Monarchy, would follow. 

The death of the Hungarian Primate, Cardinal Seredi, could 
not have been more timely, as it enabled the Vatican to select, 
at the right moment, the very man it had judged most fit for 
the task. In 1945 an obscure clergyman was nominated Car¬ 
dinal Primate. His name: Joseph Pehm, born in Mindszent, 
and later known as Joseph Mindszenty. Mindszenty’s nomina¬ 
tion rested mainly upon two main qualifications: his excep¬ 
tional devotion to Rome and his exceptional attachment to the 
Monarchy. His attachment to the House of Hapsburg can be 
judged by the fact that, when still a young priest, he had 
joined the legitimist movement as early as 1921 (the Emperor 
Charles died in 1922), and that in 1924 in his zeal for their 
cause he went so far as to visit the exiled Hapsburgs, screening 
the visit, even then, with the excuse of religion—i.e. a devo¬ 
tional pilgrimage to the shrine of Lourdes. 

These facts, of an exceptional political nature, were duly 
noted by an exceptionally politically-minded Pope like Pius 
XII, who needed precisely such a man to carry out such an 
exceptionally important political undertaking. Mindszenty was 
given, not only a cardinal’s hat, but simultaneously specific 
political instructions and money (30,000 dollars) as a first 
“ extraordinary ” monetary fund to start his activities, given 
to him before his departure by the Vatican’s Under-Secretary 
of State, Mgr. Montini. 

Mindszenty—narrow-minded, stubborn, and fanatical—who 
had taken his mission as a priest very seriously, now, as a 



the Vatican’s great attempt to put back the clock 41 i 

cardinal entrusted with so important a task, took himself in 
deadly earnest. On his return from Rome he conducted him¬ 
self as if no changes whatsoever had occurred since the end of 
Horthy’s dictatorship. Mindszenty acted, not only as the 
supreme head of the Hungarian Church, but also as the political 
head of a State who was being ostracized by a usurping 
government which refused to recognize the real status of the 
Primate. Acting upon such a presumption, Mindszenty 
launched an undeclared war against the government and 
mobilized the whole machinery of the Hungarian Church. 

He bitterly opposed all kinds of reforms, particularly those 
connected with the land and with schools. We have already 
seen the nature of some of them. Before the War, 4,500,000 
of Hungary’s 9,000,000 population were peasants. Of these, 
3,000,000 formed what were called the landless “ three million 
beggars.” Redistribution of the land had been promised by 
all political parties during the previous thirty years, without 
anything having been done about it. After the Second World 
War tire new Hungarian Government took the matter in hand. 
One-third of the agricultural land was given to 642,000 peasant 
families, most of them previously landless or owners of tiny 
plots. Owners of less than 1,400 acres were allowed to retain 
up to 140 acres for their own use—which was not unfair, when 
it is remembered that the average given to each peasant family 
was only seven and a half acres. The land reform had stripped 
the Church of many rich acres, the Church being the biggest 
landowner in the country. The Government, however, main¬ 
taining a fairness worthy of admiration, allowed every See to 
retain up to 300 acres, and every parish church up to fifteen 
acres. 

Mindszenty fought such redistribution with all his power, 
and equally directed his zeal to the field of education, where 
religious that is to say. Catholic-teaching, until then com¬ 
pulsory, was made an alternative subject. 

The Protestant Churches welcomed the changes, but not 
Mindszenty, who opposed them all by writing hostile pastoral 
letters, which he commanded should be read in all churches, 
going so far as to threaten with excommunication any Catholic, 
or Catholic teacher, approving of the reforms. This, it should 
be noticed, in spite of the fact that that Government, in those 



412 


THE SPECTACULAR CASE OF CARDINAL MINDSZENTY, OR 

same years, had reconstructed 570 war-damaged churches and 
had given generous State grants to all religious communities: 
e.g. in 1950, 78,000,000 forints, of which about two-thirds went 
to the Catholic Church. 

In 1946 Mindszenty went again to Rome. After prolongea 
consultations with the Vatican Under-Secretary of State, 
Montini, and the Pope, he returned home with fresh instruc¬ 
tions, plus 10,000 dollars. 

In that same year the Hungarian Republic was formally 
established. Mindszenty defiantly refused to recognize the fact 
and returned unopened all letters sent to him by the President, 
the head of the Hungarian Government. Simultaneously, 
following the fresh instructions from Rome, he began in 
earnest his political activities, with the object of mobilizing 
forces ready to work for the overthrow of the Republic and the 
establishment of the Monarchy. 

Mindszenty began his new campaign by sending a letter to 
the President, M. Tildy, protesting against the establishment 
of the Republic’s Constitution. At the same time he began to 
promote, with the utmost vigour, secret activities which 
ranged from the co-ordination of the illegal Monarchist organ¬ 
izations at home to the renewal of contacts abroad with 
Hungarian Royalists in exile, via the American Legation in 
Budapest, and with various cardinals, among them the Belgian 
Pr ima te, Van Roey, and Cardinal Spellman in New York. 

In the following year, 1947, the synchronization of the war 
ag ains t the Hungarian Government and the intrigues connected 
with the installation of the Monarchy gathered momentum. 

To strengthen both, Mindszenty set in operation the whole 
machin ery of the Hungarian Church, to such an extent that at 
the conference of Hungarian bishops that year he drafted their 
pastoral letters, ordering them to have them read in all 
churches, with the specific purpose of influencing adversely the 
general elections, which were due in that same year, thereby 
undermining the Government. 

While engaged in all such exertions at home, Mindszenty 
was no less active with his many supporters abroad, whom 
he kept well informed about the progress being made for the 
promotion of the “cause.” Some of these were certain 
American authorities specially briefed by both the State Depart- 



the Vatican’s great attempt to put back the clock 413 

ment and the American Intelligence, with whom Cardinal 
Spellman was co-operating. 

Mindszenty prepared a memorandum in which he informed 
them of his plans regarding his approaching seizure of power. 
Not content with this, he went so far as to work out a detailed 
scheme, to be operated immediately the Republic was over¬ 
thrown. A good part of it consisted of a statement, to be 
delivered to the nation, meant to prove that he, Cardinal 
Mindszenty, in view of the claims of which we have spoken 
before, was entitled by right to become the head of the Hun¬ 
garian State during the period between the overthrow of the 
Republic and the enthronement of a Hungarian king. Mind¬ 
szenty, the better to substantiate such a prerogative, charged 
Professor Miklos Gruber with preparing a study, with a view 
to proving that, in earlier history, the Prince Primate had taken 
over power in similar circumstances. Mindszenty had become 
so sure of the imminence of the need for this declaration that 
he ordered the paper for it from the printing works of 
Stephaneums. This was not all. He drew up nothing less 
than a list of the future Cabinet, with himself as Regent 
(autumn, 1947). 

His optimism was not mere wishful thinking. It was based 
upon the belief that the U.S.A. was coming to his help. And 
that such help would come that same year (1947), when “ an 
historic change might come about,” to use his own words. 
Mindszenty’s assumption had been fed by reports from the 
Vatican, which, in turn, depended upon the information on 
what